Benchmade Knife Company, manufacturer of premium sports cutlery for over 26 years, has announced its sponsorship of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) as its first Platinum Level Sponsor.

The MRA is comprised of over 90 teams from the United States and Canada. All of the fully accredited teams are made up of volunteer professional rescuers. They respond to the most challenging search-and-rescue missions at the request of the local authorities. Established in 1959 at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon, the MRA is dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education.

"The team at Benchmade Knife Company is extremely proud to support the Mountain Rescue Association," says David Fee, vice president of sales and marketing for Benchmade Knife Company. "Several years ago, my uncle encountered an accident while climbing Oregon's Mt. Hood. The volunteers from MRA were the first on the scene and helped save his life. Through this experience I can truly understand the importance and legitimacy of the MRA. Benchmade is very happy to be able to contribute to the MRA through financial support and products that will aid in their critical work."

For more information about the Mountain Rescue Association or for online rescue training information go to mra.org.

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