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On July 20, Manuel (Manny) Maldonado, an employee of Baldor Specialty Foods in the Bronx, NY, was involved in a serious car accident in which he suffered a severe spinal cord injury, one that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Mr. Maldonado is 31 years old and the father of a young boy, Manny Jr.

He has been with Baldor since October 2003, and his solid work ethic and positive attitude helped pave the way for several promotions within the company. In 2006, he enthusiastically relocated to the company's new Boston facility from New York, where he assumed the role of night warehouse supervisor.

Throughout his career with the company, Mr. Maldonado has been a well- respected employee and a friend to many.

Baldor has established The Friends of Manny Maldonado "to help ease the hardship that this life changing event will undoubtedly bring," according to a Sept. 1 press release.

On Sept. 12, The Friends of Manny Maldonado will be sponsoring a fundraiser, rain or shine, at its New York headquarters, 155 Food Center Drive, Bronx, NY. There will be a dinner and silent auction, and all proceeds will go directly to Mr. Maldonado. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Baldor has encouraged those interested in attending to invite their families, friends and co-workers. The donation-ticket to the fundraiser is $10; children 12 and under cost $5.

Those who are interested but unable to attend the event who would like to make a donation may make checks payable to Manny Maldonado, c/o Baldor Specialty Foods Inc., 155 Food Center Dr., Bronx, NY 10474; call 718/304- 4500; or e-mail info@baldorfood.com.