In 2005, Ace continued lending hammers, hearts and helping hands to several charities, community relations efforts and philanthropic causes.
The Ace Hardware Foundation, which fundraises for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) and the American Red Cross, raised an all-time high of $3.7 million in 2005 - $700,000 more than the previous year.
Two of Ace's largest CMN fundraisers included the annual Ace Hardware/CMN Vendor Golf Outing, the largest event of its kind in the Chicago area, and the second-annual Ace Hardware Tour de Kids ride, a nine-week, 4,300-mile cross-country fundraising bicycle journey from Seattle to Boston. As a result of generous pledge contributions, vendor support and a steadfast commitment from the Ace team, these two events combined raised more than $1.2 million to support CMN's 170 children's hospitals nationwide.
In addition to fundraising for CMN, the Ace team supported several American Red Cross campaigns, including the charity's largest disaster relief mobilization effort in history. Ace retailers, team members and vendor partners rallied to supply products and funding to victims and relief workers of the tsunami disaster in Asia, rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina and several other natural disaster relief efforts.
Dozens of Ace stores were greatly impacted by the hurricanes. From Hurricane Katrina alone, 28 Ace stores were affected, and all but three have since reopened in service to their communities to help rebuild the region. The Ace team rallied in support of these retailers and made cash and product donations.
One of the most unique Hurricane Katrina relief partnerships came in the form of a Thanksgiving Day gift for one New Orleans area family. In partnership with the CBS "Early Show" Week of Wishes series and the contractor-based company Rent-a-Husband, a special Ace team comprised of local retailers, field staff and corporate employees cleaned, renovated and repaired a family's home that suffered severe flooding in the aftermath of the hurricane. After a week of patching, priming
and painting, the team transformed the home, revealing it to the family on Thanksgiving Day, fulfilling their wish to rebuild their home and their lives.
In its third year of sponsorship with Little League® Baseball, Ace recognized the good works of others by presenting five individuals with Ace "Helpful Hero" Awards. The "heroes" were awarded two-minute shopping sprees at their local Ace stores in addition to a cash donation made to the winner's respective league. One national winner also received a trip to the 2005 Little League World Series and was recognized for his contributions on the playing field before the U.S. Championship game in Williamsport, Pa.
Turning to neighbors in need, Ace also gave "facelifts" to several community places through the Ace/Little League "Fields for the Future" and Ace's "New Faces for Helpful Places" programs. Fourteen community cornerstones, ranging from local Boys & Girls Clubs and food banks to shelters and ball fields, were each awarded $5,000 worth of Ace product, a team of volunteers and "Helpful Hardware Man" Lou Manfredini's home improvement expertise.
Whether it's a helping hand, heart or hammer that's needed to make a difference in the lives of Ace's customers and the communities in which we do business, the Ace team is proud to continue its tradition of bringing hope and help to communities in need.