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Tennis stars offer a “hand up” at the Women Build in Warsaw

May 18, 2009

Warsaw, Poland, 18th May 2009: World tennis sensation Daniela Hantuchova along with Polish stars Agnieszka Radwanska and her sister, rising star, Urszula Radwanska lent their support to Habitat for Humanity (HfH) and their latest project in Warsaw, Poland. The Warsaw build, due for completion this September, will provide new homes and a better future for six families. The talented trio joined in with the construction on the latest instalment of the “women-only” build programme; designed to recruit, train and empower women. Female volunteers attended from HfH, Whirlpool and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour including Stacey Allaster, President of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

Whirlpool and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s support of HfH, now in its sixth successive year, includes volunteering on builds, raising the charity’s profile and various fund-raising schemes. Since their collaboration, donations amount to €424,457, making 100 homes across Europe possible and benefiting many families in need. To celebrate the landmark 100th home from the joint initiatives and the great work achieved to date, Whirlpool and the Tour presented a further €20,000 to HfH to enable them to continue their important work.

Stacey Allaster, President, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour says, “The Tour has forged great bonds with Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity over the last six years and it is a worthy and successful partnership and one we feel privileged to have. The Tour and our players place an active desire to help those less fortunate at the core of our ever-widening social responsibility activity. The Tour was founded by Billie Jean King on the principle that everyone has a dream and in helping house families our players continue to respond to that vision.  I am very pleased with and thankful to all our players, like Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska today, for the unwavering commitment and energy they have delivered and continue to put towards this noble cause.”

On top of the generous financial support, the talented Radwanska sisters also presented their match play rackets to Habitat for Humanity Poland, which will feature in an online charity auction. Money raised from the auction will contribute to Habitat for Humanity’s “Homes without barriers” programme dedicated to the disabled. The programme offers micro-loans for improvements and adaptations for disabled needs around the home.

Agnieszka Radwanska, Habitat for Humanity ambassador and world ranked 12th player, said, “It’s an honour to be a part of such a fantastic cause and be involved with Habitat for Humanity, helping underprivileged families across the world. I have great respect for all the volunteers and those working hard everyday against poverty housing. My fellow players and I are always very enthusiastic about helping and supporting Habitat for Humanity.”

Agnieszka Radwanska is the latest high profile Tour star to commit her support to Habitat for Humanity’s noble work across Europe. Earlier in the year she was unveiled as the latest Habitat for Humanity ambassador for the elimination of poverty housing, joining two time French Open semi-finalist Nadia Petrova and former Tour newcomer of the year, Hungarian star Agnes Szavay, to Whirlpool and the Tour’s collaborative support of Habitat for Humanity.

Don Haszczyn, Area Vice President, Europe and Central Asia, Habitat for Humanity said, “In these times when more people than ever lack adequate shelter and thousands are losing their homes, we are especially thankful to our partners for their continued commitment to the task of helping families in need of a decent and affordable place to live. People who are denied the most basic of rights – to have access to shelter – are benefiting from this building action. We thank the tennis stars, Whirlpool and The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour for touching so many lives and bringing hope to even more families.”

Fellow volunteer and lead of the Women Network at Whirlpool Europe, Tanneke Reinders, Brand Director, Whirlpool Europe said, “Whirlpool’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and the empowerment of women to achieve the best possible lives for themselves and their families is reflected both in this commitment to women-led households, and in the growing women’s network inside Whirlpool Europe. We applaud the remarkable efforts of Habitat for Humanity, the players’ support and the Tour’s commitment to this worthwhile cause.”

The Whirlpool Women’s European Network aims to help women’s career development and to express their potential in an inclusive work environment. This service is available to all Whirlpool women employees to help them develop professionally and express their full potential, often while balancing the demands of home and work.

About Whirlpool
With around 14,000 employees, a sales presence in over 30 European countries and manufacturing sites in seven countries, Whirlpool Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation. The world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances Whirlpool Corporation has annual sales of approximately $19 billion, 70,000 employees, and 69 manufacturing and technology research centres around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.

Whirlpool’s European Operations’ Centre is located in Comerio (VA), Italy. For further information on the company, please visit the Web Site www.whirlpool.eu

About the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the world’s leading professional sport for women with more than 2,200 players representing 96 nations competing for more than $86 million in prize money at the Tour’s 51 events and four Grand Slams in 31 countries. More than 4.8 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2008 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season concludes with the Sony Ericsson Championships – Doha 2009 in Doha, Qatar, from October 27-November 1, and the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia from November 4-8. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian non-profit organisation dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built and renovated more than 350,000 homes worldwide. In Europe and Central Asia, Habitat works in 20 countries with partners, donors and volunteers from the region. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitateurope.org.

About Whirlpool/Habitat for Humanity Relationship
Whirlpool is one of the largest global partners of Habitat for Humanity International.  It has supported the charity since 1999 and introduced this partnership to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2004. Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate poverty housing from the world by inviting people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

Whirlpool has supported the charity in many different ways over a number of years, both through conventional and unconventional means.  Support has ranged from product donations through to Whirlpool employees actively helping in building projects.

Whirlpool Europe donates 3 products to every Habitat home built in Europe and Central Asia. Worldwide, Whirlpool Corporation has made more than 85,000 appliances available to Habitat for Humanity affiliates and families.

Almost 5,500 Whirlpool employees have helped to build Habitat homes in Whirlpool locations and further Habitat houses in North America, Europe and South Africa.  The partnership in Europe and Central Asia is now active in 20 countries, and Whirlpool has also been involved in rebuilding communities throughout Southeast Asia who were affected by the tsunami.  The charity is close to the hearts of all Whirlpool employees and goes far beyond financial donations. Find out more at www.habitateurope.org.