Giving Back – An ABC Tradition
In addition to our community role as a fine wine and spirits business/employer, we recognize our responsibility as a corporate citizen and devote significant resources – not only financial, but also time and talent – to supporting charitable organizations in our hometown of Orlando and across Florida. It’s a commitment that began more than fifty years ago, when our founder, Jack Holloway, was involved in the founding of United Cerebral Palsy (now UCP of Central Florida).
Our primary mission in giving is to assist those in our community who traditionally demonstrate the greatest need. We focus on organizations that benefit children, the elderly, and those who have suffered losses due to natural disasters. Preference is given to those organizations that directly benefit the community, rather than organizations that act to redistribute gifts.
We take a multi-pronged approach, with resources (financial donations and donations of product) coming from three sources:
• The John D. Holloway Foundation
• Corporate donations
• Donations from our Employee Charity Fund (ECF)
The Holloway Foundation carries out ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ founder Jack Holloway’s vision of helping physically and developmentally challenged children as well as other child-benefiting projects such as “Math Avenue” at the Orlando Science Center. Corporate donations are more varied, with assistance going to projects benefiting children and families, community-building projects, medical causes (such as Cystic Fibrosis foundations, the American Cancer Society, and local hospital programs) and more. Recipients of ECF funds range from national charities such as Ronald McDonald House, with multiple locations, to local charities such as Kimberley’s Cottage (a resource for abused children) in Ocala.
In addition to cash gifts, we donate wine (either outright or at cost) for charitable or community events, gift baskets for auctions and raffles, and unique wine and spirits tables (worth an average of $2,500 in product) for gala events.
Personal involvement is perhaps the most significant method of giving, from our perspective. Community work by employees – from top management to store clerks – ranges from large organizations such as the Red Cross, all the way down to very local groups. Employees at all levels volunteer time, give blood, coach children’s sports teams, build houses, raise money, and more for hundreds of organizations across the state of Florida. Our construction team takes their skills – honed building our stores – into the local communities, too, building new and repairing old buildings for local non-profits like Camp Boggy Creek and the Russell Home for Atypical Children.
Wine-related events are opportunities for ABC to not only give to the community, but to do so in a way that is truly our forte as a wine and spirits retailer. We are active on committees, solicit donations and the appearance of winemakers, and do the work both before, during and after the events we’re involved with – from helping decorate, to pouring wine, to delivering auction items.
Events in which ABC is a significant partner raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Some of our favorite collaborations include:
• A Taste for Learning, which benefits the Valencia Foundation
• The UCP Gala (“An Evening at the Palace”)
• The Golden Eagle Dinner, for the Boy Scouts of America
In addition, members of our wine team are involved in gala events in their communities, including the annual “Einstein on Wine” at Tampa’s MOSI, and, on the other coast, Hospice by the Sea’s annual Celebration by the Sea.
Giving during the holiday season
Giving takes on additional meaning during the traditional holiday season through November and December each year. We collect non-perishable items to donate to organizations like the Coalition for the Homeless and Second Harvest as well as toys for kids at the Coalition and for Toys for Tots. Many employees add extra volunteer work to their schedule, helping out where they can, and our Employee Charity Fund’s November disbursement includes contributions to Toys for Tots and similar organizations, and additional contributions to food banks around the state.