Frank Hugelmeyer has again driven OIA to pick up a ball dropped by other sporting goods industry associations and led an industry-wide fund raising campaign for the victims of the tsunami that devastated so many countries around the Indian Ocean. Within hours of the initial disaster reports OIA had contacted Americares and the Red Cross to set up bulk donations by industry companies for Southeast Asia relief, and then asked industry members for donations via its weekly WebNews.

“With damage estimates and death tolls rising, the global response to the devastation in Southeast Asia is quickly becoming the largest relief effort in history. So far 21 outdoor industry companies have volunteered to provide assistance, cash, or product donations in the ongoing efforts,” Hugelmeyer wrote in an email sent out to OIA members. “Water filters, work gloves, tarps, tents, sleeping pads and water containers will certainly be needed… With their help, AmeriCares has already landed a plane in Sri Lanka with 30,000 pounds of medicines and supplies.”

Not only has this disaster caused tremendous devastation to the communities directly affected, but it has also hit the outdoor industry closer to home. Richard and Newt Martin, Eagle Creek’s plant managers in Thailand, were vacationing on Phi Phi Island when the wave struck, but the two were spared any injury despite the 200 dead on the island and hundreds more washed out to sea who remain missing. Jason Monklien who runs Eagle Creek’s Asian development still has not been contacted.

OIA has set up a communication channel through Randy Weiss at AmeriCares at (203) 658-9527 or by sending an e-mail to OIA also has requested companies to keep OIA informed of all donations so that the organization can continue to track the response from the outdoor industry.