St. Clare Elementary, Devastated By Katrina, To Re-open, Thanks to Donation from ABB |

St. Clare Elementary, Devastated By Katrina, To Re-open, Thanks to Donation from ABB

October 202005
St. Clare Elementary, Devastated By Katrina, To Re-open, Thanks to Donation from ABB
Wichita Falls, Texas, October 20, 2005 . . . During Hurricane Katrina, St. Clare Elementary School in Waveland, Mississippi was flattened to its foundation and classes were cancelled indefinitely. However, thanks to ABB, the school received 18 completely assembled circuit breaker panels, which are critical to get the air conditioning, heating and lighting systems functioning properly within each of the Quonset huts where classes will be held.

Call for Help Last Week -

On October 10th, 2005, John Zimmerman, a local ABB OEM and school board representative, received a request for monetary donations from St. Clare School. Even though the request asked for monetary donations, John hoped that material donations could be provided by ABB to help power up the temporary classrooms. He forwarded the letter and a request for circuit breakers to Darin Gilmore, a local ABB manufacturer's representative based in New Orleans, LA.

Later that day, Gilmore received the email and sent it to Ron Fiorentino, the product manager for circuit breakers at ABB Low Voltage Products & Systems (controls), along with Steve Goble, the vice president of marketing for the ABB business unit. Gilmore asked if the 18 circuit breaker panels could be donated to the school. "We realized that donating materials, rather than money, would meet an immediate, physical need," Goble said.

After checking with local management and reviewing the stock on hand, the team in Wichita Falls, Texas gathered, packaged, and shipped the panels within three days. Goble also called the local rep to let them know that help was literally! - on the way.

Four Days after the Call for Help -

On October 14, the assembled panels arrived in Waveland, Mississippi, and the next day, Zimmerman began installing them at the school site. When asked about the donation, Zimmerman said, "These panels are vital to the school getting up and running. They will help the classrooms function for up to two years, or until a permanent building can be built."

The school is scheduled to open on November 1, 2005 and the quick reaction with this critical electrical equipment helps ensure the school quarters can be ready in time.

"It is refreshing to know that even in the hectic day-to-day routine, ABB employees expand their commitments, time and energies to answer these kinds of requests and then respond with incredible speed," said Gilmore. "It's a pleasure to be part of an organization that goes way above and beyond the call of duty with this kind of responsiveness."

Hotline to Help Businesses -

ABB continues to provide a hotline for customers dealing with the storm's aftermath. ABB Help Desk employees are available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The special toll-free number will help ABB bring its complete product and service offering to each customer's unique emergency needs. The number is 1-877-511-4222.

ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Low-Voltage Products & Systems is a leading manufacturer and supplier of control products ( ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Low-Voltage Drives, is the world's largest manufacturer of electric motors and drives ( And ABB Low-Voltage Products now offers both drives and control products from a single point of sales contact.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 115,000 people.
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