Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits announces $150 Million commitment to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company, announced today it has committed $150 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program for the 2017-18 school year, once again topping its own historical donations of the past few years.
Southern Glazer’s CEO Wayne Chaplin announced the extraordinary pledge during a celebration honoring the company’s 2016-17 $125 million contribution, providing more than 20,000 scholarships.
Students from Monsignor Edward Pace High School participated in the event held at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Of the 835 students at Pace High School, 376 benefit from the scholarship program.
Florida International University’s hospitality management faculty and students at the Chaplin School instructed the students, who assisted in the preparation of a four-course celebratory meal, giving them a hands-on experience in the University’s state-of-the-art Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory. Following the presentation, students toured the FIU campus to learn about future career opportunities in the hospitality field.
“At Southern Glazer’s, we recognize the importance of a quality education and know that not all families have the same opportunities to provide the best learning environment for their children. We are honored to provide thousands of deserving Florida children with scholarships through our relationship with Step Up For Students,” said Chaplin. “We’ll continue to be a leader in our community and to open the doors of possibilities for families.”
Southern Glazer’s contribution—the largest in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program’s 15-year history—will fund more than 21,000 scholarships in the 2017-18 school year. This is Southern Glazer’s eighth consecutive year of participating in the Step Up program, bringing the company’s total to an astounding $465 million since 2010.
“Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits continues to raise the bar in its commitment to our Florida communities, and particularly to Florida schoolchildren through their incredible contribution to the Step Up scholarship program. Through providing educational opportunities for lower-income families, they are making a difference throughout the state of Florida,” said Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students. “On behalf of Step Up, and all the families benefiting from this extreme generosity, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Step Up helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to qualified lower-income families throughout Florida. Scholarships are funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions. The program allows recipients to choose between a scholarship to help with private school tuition and fees, or a transportation scholarship to assist with transportation costs to an out-of-district public school.
During the 2016-17 school year, Step Up is serving nearly 98,000 students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued up to $5,886 per student. More than 1,700 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide. In Miami-Dade County this school year, more than 420 schools participate in the program with more than 25,000 students benefiting.
About Step Up For Students
Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that helps manage the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Students who qualify for the national free or reduced-price lunch program, or those who are homeless or in foster or out-of-home care, may qualify. The scholarship program provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’ choice or financial assistance to offset the transportation cost to an out-of-district public school. Since 2001, Step Up has awarded nearly 580,000 scholarships.
Step Up also helps administer the state-funded Gardiner Scholarship Program for Florida students with certain special needs. With the Gardiner Scholarship, recipients may use the funds for a variety of approved services including private tutoring, occupational therapy, instructional materials and other services.
About Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is North America’s largest wine and spirits distributor, and the preeminent data insights company for alcoholic beverages. The Company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 team members. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information visit www.southernglazers.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SouthernGlazers.