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Community Service Award finalists are announced


Canadian Grocer magazine has announced the 10 finalists for this year's Community  Service Awards.

The 10 stand-out stores cover the country, from Thrifty Foods in Courtenay, B.C., which raised money for cancer charities in memory of an employee who had passed away from the disease, to Clarenville Co-op in Newfoundland, whose store manager acted quickly to get food to residents stranded after a hurricane hit the province.

“We were absolutely amazed by all the entries we received this year and how much effort grocers put into giving back to their towns,” said Canadian Grocer’s editor, Rob Gerlsbeck. “Time and time again, we are seeing grocers step up when there is a need in their community.”

The CSA awards were launched last year by Canadian Grocer to recognize retailers who support causes such as kid's charities, raise money for local hospitals and food banks, or lend a helping hand in some other way.

Every spring we invite retailers to submit their community service initiatives. The entries are judged by a four-person judging panel made up of retail, business and philanthropic experts.

This year’s panel is: George Condon, Canadian Grocer’s consulting editor; James Fraser, partner at retail branding agency Hunter Straker; Agnieszka Rum of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility; and David Soberman, marketing professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

The 2011 awards are sponsored by Campbell’s, General Mills and Chatelaine magazine.

The 10 finalists are listed below. You can read the complete story on their community service initiatives in the September issue of Canadian Grocer, out now.

And stay tuned! We’ll announce the four winning stores (who’ll also be featured on a page in Chatelaine) in the November issue of Canadian Grocer.


MaGrath Save-On Foods, Edmonton. Store manager Tony Klyne spent a week living on the roof of his store to raise money for Edmonton’s Food Bank. He endured heat, rain and a windstorm, to raise $60,000 in food and donations.

La Coopérative Régionale de la Baie, Tracadie-Sheila, N.B. The co-op raised $200,000 to help the local hospital purchase a state-of-the-art ER trauma room. It's just the latest donation the co-op has made to the hospital. In the last eight years it has raised an astounding $1.5 million through 50/50 draws.

Battistelli’s Your Independent Grocer, Lively, Ont. Brent Battistelli was appreciative of the care a local hospice gave his wife while she was dying from cancer. To give back, Battistelli, his family and staff took part in fundraising events and raised money for the hospice in-store.

MacPhee’s Market Save Easy, Souris, P.E.I. One of the biggest events in P.E.I. each year is the Souris Village Feast. Store manager Alan MacPhee, along with celebrity chef Michael Smith, spearhead the event, which feeds 1,300 people and raises money for a number of local and global charities.

Clarenville Area Co-op, Clarenville, N.L. When Hurricane Igor smashed through Newfoundland last September, many small villages were cut off. Clarenville’s general manager, Kevin Jacobs, quickly jumped in to help, organizing boats to deliver food to these communities.

La Coopérative de Dieppe, Dieppe, N.B. To raise money for a variety of causes in the local community, the four-year-old co-op has set up a regular 50/50 draw. Not only are the draws popular with customers, they’ve raised thousands of dollars for everything from the local hospital to kids’ recreation programs.

Thrifty Foods, Courtenay, B.C. In memory of one of his employees who passed away from cancer, store manager Rick Gaiga took part in Tour de Rock, a grueling 1,100 kilometre bicycle ride from one end of Vancouver Island to the other. As a result, he raised $27,000 for Tour de Rock cancer charities.

Real Canadian Superstore, Kelowna, B.C. In a country as affluent as Canada, kids should never go hungry. This powerful insight led managers at this Real Canadian Superstore to start serving breakfasts to kids at disadvantaged schools.

Colemans, Corner Brook, N.L. Community service is part of the fabric at Colemans, which gets involved in a host of events to help the community, from raising donations on Alzheimer’s Day to staff getting involved in the local Cancer Relay for Life.

Zehrs Great Food, Stratford, Ont. To raise money for the local Easter Seals, this Zehrs store puts on a road hockey tournament in its parking lot every June. In six years, the tournament has raised some $60,000.


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