Simonton Windows employee finishes Boston Marathon

PARKERSBURG, W. VA. –  Joan Gates achieved a “once in a lifetime goal” of running in the 2008 Boston Marathon on April 21. Along the way she gained the support of her fellow Simonton workers and more than $12,000 in contributions to support the non-profit organization, Homes for Our Troops.

Gates, a resident of Washington, West Virginia, completed the 112th Boston Marathon in 5 hours and 23 minutes. The 26.1-mile marathon, started in 1896, winds throughout Massachusetts and concludes in downtown Boston.

“I’m so exceptionally pleased that I was able to run in this race on behalf of Homes for Our Troops,” says Gates, the marketing coordinator at Simonton Windows in Parkersburg. “It’s always been a dream of mine to compete in this marathon. Now, to have done this, while helping raise money and awareness for the Homes for Our Troops organization, is just an incredible feeling.

“Every person I know enjoys unlimited freedom in our country thanks to the dedicated work of our armed forces. We can never show them enough how much we appreciate their selfless efforts. These exceptional individuals motivated me during both my preparations for the Boston Marathon and for the actual run.”

Homes for Our Troops, the non-profit organization that Gates supported in the run, provides much-needed housing at no cost to severely injured service men and women returning from Iraq. Simonton Windows is a corporate sponsor of the organization and contributes products, managerial guidance and funding to the organization.

“Joan proves that one individual can help many,” says Dawn Teixeira, vice president and CIO of Homes for Our Troops. “Her dedicated efforts to train and participate in this marathon, along with raising funds, showcases the best of what Americans can do to support members of the armed forces. The monies Joan raised are part of the almost $100,000 collected by the entire team running for Homes for Our Troops. These funds will help provide no-cost housing to severely disabled service people who have given so generously of themselves for our country.”

Gates started running in 1999 to improve her health and meet the personal challenge of racing in marathons. Since that time she has competed in 38 5K runs, two 10K runs, nine half marathons, one marathon and a triathlon. A board member of the River City Runners Club in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Gates prepared for the 2008 Boston Marathon by running up to four times a week and lifting weights.

Go to http://www.homesforourtroops.org/goto/TeamSimonton to visit the pledge page for Team Simonton. For more information on Homes for Our Troops and the valuable work done by this organization, visit www.homesforourtroops.org.

Simonton Windows produces ENERGY STAR® qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products. The company was ranked #1 in quality in the 2007 Brand Use Study sponsored by Builder magazine and has won two consecutive Best In Class Awards for being ranked “Overall Top Rated Vinyl Window Brand” in unaided industry studies.

 Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver its made-to-order products in seven days or less. Part of consumer products company Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), Simonton has manufacturing facilities in Pennsboro, Harrisville and Ellenboro, W.Va.; Paris, Ill.; McAlester, Okla.; and Vacaville, Calif.  Simonton is a founding sponsor of The Weather Museum and a corporate partner of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON or visit www.simonton.com.

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