Great Dane supports Walmart Heart program

Great Dane joined with Walmart truck drivers and others in Kewanee IL to celebrate the Walmart Heart program at the Kewanee Walmart store. Through the program, Walmart truck drivers support sick and special needs children. Several families who were helped by the program attended the event.

The celebration, which included a display of a Walmart Heart trailer with the faces of children on it, gave special recognition to Ty Sanford, who is shown on the trailer. He and his family received support through the Walmart Heart program while Ty battled cancer and died in 2015.

Great Dane’s Kewanee employees built the trailer earlier this year. Ty is the grandson of Great Dane Kewanee employee Bob Silvis, who has worked at Great Dane for 38 years and had a role in building the first trailer Walmart bought from Great Dane in the 1970s. Silvis also played a part in making the Walmart Heart trailer displayed at the celebration. The Great Dane Kewanee plant has about 700 employees who build dry van trailers.

“Great Dane employees have built thousands of trailers for Walmart over the years, and whenever we build a Walmart Heart trailer, we take pride in knowing we play a small part in supporting children in need,” said Lynette Lempke, human resources representative at the Great Dane Kewanee plant. “Our plant employees have a soft spot in their hearts every time they build these trailers and see the results.

“It is gratifying to see the program give people happiness and hope,” said Lempke. “I hope that when people see this trailer, and the children on it, they think of their loved ones and open their hearts to helping others in whatever way they can.”

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