RACINE – Continuing its long legacy of investing in its hometown, SC Johnson on Saturday announced major contributions to aid public safety and literacy efforts in Racine and its suburbs.
SC Johnson announced Saturday that it has committed to purchase a new bookmobile for the Racine Public Library, which is expected to cost an estimated $250,000, and will also provide its third annual $50,000 donation to support the library’s Battle of the Books, a literature contest for fourth- and fifth-grade students in Racine County.
The company also said Saturday it has committed to support about 40 hours per week of additional officer presence for a six-year period at the Lakeside Community-Oriented Policing (COP) House in Mount Pleasant. SC Johnson will also purchase 54 new breathing apparatuses for the South Shore Fire Department, which serves Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant, including SC Johnson’s Waxdale manufacturing complex on Willow Road.
Public safety donations
Mount Pleasant Village President Gerald Garski said in a release that the contributions toward COP House staffing and support of the Fire Department shows that “SC Johnson deeply cares about the advancement of our community.”
“We are very happy to give back to the courageous men and women who support our community through important law enforcement and fire department services,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “This equipment will help our firefighters to safely fight fires, and the Police Department’s recent COP house at 23rd and Mead streets will be able to make an even more positive impact with an additional officer engaged with those in the community.”
The SC Johnson funding to the Police Department will help add a second officer to the COP program which focuses on building relationships between law enforcement and local residents. The funds will help ensure that the neighborhood benefits from expanded officer engagement during evenings and weekends, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Tim Zarzecki said.
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The South Shore Fire Department will receive 54 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, valued at $324,000. The equipment helps firefighters breathe while working in dangerous environments. The new equipment, which South Shore Fire Chief Robert Stedman described as a “critical safety component of the protective equipment firefighters use,” will replace airpacks that are up to 18 years old, the company said.
The donations to the library will help celebrate the start of November’s National Family Literacy Month, SC Johnson said officials said.
“Literacy lays the foundation for the successful future of our community’s youth and the generations to come,” said Fisk Johnson. “We’re so pleased to be associated with these programs and what they aim to achieve.”
SC Johnson has committed to purchase the bookmobile, which is expected to cost an estimated $250,000. The bookmobile will bring thousands of books to neighborhoods in eastern Racine County, the company said. The new bookmobile will replace the library’s original vehicle which successfully accounted for more than 100,000 book check-outs at 19 different weekly stops across the area.
“Our bookmobile plays such an important role in strengthening the library’s connection to those we serve,” said Jessica MacPhail, director of the Racine Public Library.
SC Johnson will also provide its third annual $50,000 donation to support the library’s Battle of the Books, a literature contest for 4th and 5th grade students in Racine County. Student teams read a list of titles selected by local librarians and show off their knowledge in public competitions.
Local school also helped
SC Johnson also announced that company officials participated in a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony on Friday for a new gym floor at Trinity Lutheran School, 2065 Geneva St., Racine. Earlier this year, SC Johnson contributed $40,000 for the new floor where many school activities take place such as lunch, physical activities and sporting events.