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Meet the 2012 Community Service Award winners


The grocery industry and community service go hand in hand, and this year’s winners of Canadian Grocer’s Community Service Awards are perfect examples of going above and beyond the call of duty.

The Community Service Awards were created three years ago by Canadian Grocer to recognize grocery store and convenience store owners from across the country who are doing wonderful things to support their towns and neighbourhoods.

In the spring, we opened the submissions process to anyone who wanted to share their store initiatives (or those of others).

From there, our panel of expert judges whittled down the entries to 10 finalists who appeared in our September issue.

Here are the four winners of the 2012 Canadian Grocer Community Service Awards:

Loblaws 60 Carlton, Toronto, Ont.

Since opening a year ago, Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens has garnered rave reviews for its restaurant-style ambiance, massive cheese wall and subtle tributes to the building’s hockey history.

But it also deserves kudos for helping the underprivileged community that surrounds it. From sponsoring a local ballet school, to donating to a school’s lunch program, the store has lent a hand to some 40 organizations.

With the heart of Toronto’s gay community one block away, the store is a major supporter of Pride Toronto and the Foundation for People with AIDS.

Save-on Foods, Prince George, B.C.

When an explosion ripped through the Lakeland sawmill last April, killing two, Save-On staff sprang into action, handing out food to emergency workers and families of mill employees who were awaiting news of their loved ones.

The stores also launched a fundraiser called “Round Up” where customers were asked to round up their grocery bills to the next dollar or simply make a cash donation to the Lakeland Mills fire relief fund.

And last winter four stores pitched in to benefit the town’s non-profit Junior A hockey team, the Prince George Spruce Kings, helping sell out the three special “Save-On Foods Community Event” game nights.

Provigo Sherbrooke King, Sherbrooke, Que.

Stéphane Tremblay is a grocer with a heart, pure and simple.

Every year this Provigo franchisee collects money for firefighters to distribute toys to underprivileged kids.

He also set up a scholarship fund that helps kids from low-income families attend an area school that specializes in music.

So when one of Tremblay’s customers asked him to be Sherbrooke’s honorary president of the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual daffodil campaign this year, he immediately said yes.

So, too, did his staff. His store was responsible for more than half of all daffodil lapel pins sold during the campaign in the Sherbrooke region.

Robinson’s Independent Grocer, Huntsville, Ont.

People and treasures deserve a second chance.

That’s the idea behind the Second Chance Charity Sale, held over a weekend every July in Robinson’s garden centre.

Part yard sale, part fundraiser, the event raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Transportation Fund, helping  cancer patients get to hospitals for treatment.

Organizing the sale is a huge undertaking and it’s done entirely by owner Randy Robinson’s staff. But it was worth it. This year, more than $15,000 was raised.

Check out the December/January 2013 issue of Canadian Grocer magazine for the full stories on the 2012 CSA winners.

The 2012 Canadian Grocer Community Service Awards are sponsored by Campbell’s and Chatelaine magazine.

To qualify, a store (or stores) must be in Canada and the initiative must have taken place between January 2011 and June 2012. It can also be an annual event.

The initiative can be something led by your store or done in partnership with a community organization.

Stay tuned for the call for 2013 CSA nominations!

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