Hydro's extrusion plant in Belgium treated hundreds of neighbors and local residents to breakfast and musical entertainment as part of its support of Oxfam Trailwalker, an event which raised nearly €500,000 for projects in developing countries. The company also sponsored one of the teams that participated in the 100-kilometer walk.
The Raeren plant was one of the co-sponsors of the August 27-28 event – the fourth straight year that the company has taken an active role in backing the Oxfam Trailwalker. "As long as the community supports the event, then this is something that we would like to do again," says managing director Patrick Scieur of Hydro Aluminium Raeren.
The fundraising was accomplished by 220 four-person teams, who challenged themselves to walk 100 kilometers in 30 hours. The walk took place entirely in Belgium.
Two employees from the extrusion plant and one from the die production facility in nearby Eupen walked for the Hydro-sponsored team. Although one of the four teammates was forced to drop out after around 60 kilometers because of blistered feet, the remaining three continued and completed their walk in 18 hours, 35 minutes.
They raised €1,700 for Oxfam.
In addition to sponsoring one of the teams, the Raeren plant hosted the first checkpoint on the morning of August 27. Hundreds of neighbors, supporters and local residents cheered on the participants and were also treated to breakfast and music, compliments of the plant.
The visitors were directed to a massive tent, just inside the front gate, filled with smiling employees and friends. And come they did, some as early as sunrise on the Saturday morning, surrounded by balloons and the seductive smell of early-morning coffee.
With 250 employees, the company is one of the largest employers in Raeren and the surrounding area.
Oxfam is an international confederation working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. It works directly with communities.