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Phoenix Challenge Fund Raising Luncheon an Overwhelming Success

Published: 01.31.2007

Charlotte, N.C., January 31, 2007 - The fourth annual Phoenix Challenge Fund Raising Luncheon, organized to support the 2007 Annual International Phoenix Challenge Flexo Skills Competition and the brand new PC College competition, took place at the Doubletree Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., and boasted a record attendance of more than 100 participants. Five speakers addressed the genial group of flexo industry professionals.

"We are very grateful for a terrifically successful luncheon," said Bettylyn Krafft, Phoenix Challenge Foundation (PCF) chairman, of the event. "We appreciate the generous benefactors who sponsored full tables at this luncheon, as well as the loyal backers who support us in smaller numbers."

Krafft opened the proceedings an overview of the foundation's growth and an introduction of its board members. Next, Joe Tuccito of Anderson & Vreeland took the floor. With his trademark easygoing and witty brand of repartee, Tuccito offered a history of the Phoenix Challenge competition and its accomplishments, as well as an update on Justin Green and Herbert Hardin, winners of the very first competition.

Lunch was followed by an update from Krafft on the foundation's growth projects: " Expanding the PCF Web site and newspaper (which included a request for updates from the high schools and colleges, and particularly information to track the careers of PC participants.) " Working with instructors to establish a standardized flexo curriculum " Establishing PC College, the college-level flexo competition " Partnering with industry to develop a small corrugated printing press " Partnering with industry to purchases additional narrow web presses for education " Partnering with industry for substrate donations for high schools

Krafft outlined highlights of this year's Annual International Phoenix Challenge High School Flexo Skills Competition, which will take place March 28-30, and include more than 50 students from 9-12 schools. Charlotte, N.C.-area printers will inspire students with tours of their plants. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in continuing education workshops, and Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), in Charlotte will assist them with obtaining continuing education credit.

Next, Dr. Robin Williams, of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., gave an enthusiastic introduction to PC College, the PCF's new flexo competition for college students. The program will be kicked off at the 2007 FFTA Flexo in Education Luncheon this spring.

Glynn Wilson of Workhorse Industries, presented an update on the Corrugated Project, and the Colt miniature press, under development for use in academic settings.

And the luncheon's guest speaker, Dave Harris of JR Cole Industries, gave a heartwarming speech where he shared wisdom about his experience in the flexo industry and what he's learned during his long and dedicated career.

The companies that sponsored tables included Alden & Ott Printing Inks, Appalachian State University, Avery Dennison, CL & D Graphics, Environmental Inks and Coatings, Ron and Katherine Harper, Harper Corporation of America, Water Ink Technologies and Workflow One.

Proceeds from the luncheon will help cover travel expenses for students traveling to Charlotte from throughout the U.S. and Canada during the March 2007 Annual International Phoenix Challenge Flexo Skills Competition, as well as provide housing and meals for the student teams. The competition's annual cost is now in excess of $40,000, as it enters its tenth year.

Major supporters of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation include Anderson & Vreeland, Avery Dennison, Benton Graphics, Central Piedmont Community College, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dunwoody College of Technology, Flexographic Technical Association, Harper Corporation of America, JetUSA, J.R. Cole, Mark Andy, Rotometrics, Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute, and Water Ink Technologies. Other sponsors include APR, BASF, DuPont, Environmental Inks, FlexoExchange, Pamarco, RB COR and Williamson.

About the Phoenix Challenge Foundation Founded in 1998, the Phoenix Challenge Foundation is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization of industry professionals dedicated to the recruitment and development of the future workforce for flexography. Each year, flexo high school students and teachers from throughout the U.S. and Canada are invited to the Phoenix Challenge, a two-day skill-based competition with hands-on and written testing in operating a flexo press, prepress, plate-making, and overall flexo knowledge. Winners are eligible for scholarships funded by the Phoenix Challenge Foundation. To date, $16,000 in scholarships has been awarded to encourage students to pursue further education and a career in flexography.

For further information, please contact Jazmin Kluttz at 704-588-3371 or jkluttz@harperimage.com.

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