Tokyo, October, 25, 2010—Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”; President and CEO: Masafumi Nogimori) announced that the “Flying Star Fund,” a social contribution fund run by employees, has decided to donate six wheelchair vans to six welfare facilities in Japan utilizing Astellas’ matching gift system under which all donations from employees are matched by a corporate donation of the same amount. Donation of wheelchair vans under this fund has been continuing since 1997 as a social contribution activity on a scale of several vehicles being donated annually. With this donation, the number of donated vehicles will stand at 159*1. The fund’s name “Flying Star” is the name of the Astellas’ corporate symbol meaning “a beautiful shining star moving toward the future.”
The Flying Star Fund was launched in September 1996, primarily by employees aiming to make a sustainable social contribution, at however modest a level. Its objective is to contribute to the improvement of people’s health and welfare. Employees freely participate in this fund at their own discretion. Approximately 5,300 Astellas Group employees currently contribute to the fund. Members of the fund allocate funds of 100 yen every month from their salaries. Astellas matches that amount and makes annual donations based on it.
Of the vehicles to be donated this time, three are microvans*2 with the following wheelchair-adapted design: the wheelchair is hooked up by a belt hook to an electromotive winch that surely pulls the wheelchair up the built-in ramp. The other three are minivans*3. These vehicles have basically the same features as the other three but can carry two wheelchairs. The selected recipient facilities include facilities that support the autonomous lifestyles of physically handicapped people and work places that cater for such people. The donated vehicles are planned to be used as regular transportation for people traveling to and from the facility, transport for excursions and other such functions.
It is now 15 years since the fund was first started. To celebrate this occasion, a new donation will be made to NPO Japan Good Toy Committee, Japan CliniClowns Association and Japan Hospital Clowns Association. The donated funds will be used for activities that bring more of a smile to the faces of hospitalized children struggling with illnesses. Such activities operated by these groups include the “hospital caravans” that travel from hospital to hospital with toy boxes filled with quality toys and clown events.
Kuroishi-shi, Aomori: Sankyo-kan Kuroishi
Ube-shi, Yamaguchi: Kamiharaen Support Center for Disabled People, Social Welfare Corporation
Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki: Care Partner, LLC
Izumi-shi, Osaka : Cherry Tomato Association Parttime Care Center, NPO
Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa: Go Go Scrum for Disabled Children, NPO
Tosu-shi, Saga: Sumika Support Center for Life of Disabled People, NPO
*1: 80 vehicles were donated as a commemorative event in 2003.
*2: DAIHATSU ATRAI Sloper (4WD)
*3: Toyota Noah Welcab wheelchair-accessible vehicle, rear slope type (4WD/2 wheelchair specifications)