AK Steel Pledges $750,000 to National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

 

Middletown, OH, January 18, 2007—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) today announced that it will contribute $750,000 to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center located in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

The Freedom Center is a museum that pays tribute to all efforts to abolish human enslavement, with an emphasis on the history of the Underground Railroad, which helped secure the freedom of thousands of slaves in the United States.  Its location recognizes the significant role of Cincinnati and southwestern Ohio in that effort, as many slaves gained their freedom by crossing the Ohio River in the region near the city.

“The Freedom Center is an important national symbol of human freedom, justice and tolerance and a vital educational asset for the southwestern Ohio region,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel.  “AK Steel is proud to support this key institution that is making such a positive impact, both locally and in our country.”

“AK Steel’s gift to the Freedom Center expresses great confidence in our mission and purpose,” said Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr., Presiding Co-Chair of the Freedom Center Board of Directors.  “We are deeply appreciative of the company’s commitment to the cause of freedom and understanding among all people.”

Groundbreaking for the Freedom Center was held on June 17, 2002 with First Lady Laura Bush and Muhammad Ali attending.  The $110 million cost of the Center was financed by local, state and federal grants, along with corporate and other donations.  Following construction, the 158,000 square-foot structure opened to the public on August 3, 2004.  Since its opening, nearly 500,000 people have visited the Freedom Center, including more than 110,000 school children. 

AK Steel’s pledge is in response to the Center’s private fundraising campaign, currently underway, which has a goal of raising $10 million from leading corporations, foundations, individuals and other sources.   AK Steel plans to make its contribution in three installments of $250,000 each over several years.

Headquartered in Middletown, Ohio, AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, as well as carbon and stainless tubular steel products, for automotive, appliance, construction and manufacturing markets.