Giving Back: Nationwide, WSFS, Farm Bureau, Grotto Pizza


Nationwide, Farm Bureau team up on grain bin rescue tool

Nationwide insurance and the Farm Bureau helped in bringing a grain bin rescue tool to Harrington firefighters.

This year, Nationwide opened its program up to those who could raise $5,000 to be able to secure a grain bin rescue tube, a portable cordless drill-powered grain auger and training.

Through the first five years of this annual contest, rescue tubes have been presented to 77 fire departments across 24 states.

The grain rescue tool is the only way to safely remove someone trapped in grain, according to Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness.

Margaret Chase, Nationwide sponsor relations account executive, spread the word to Nationwide agents and mentioned the program to Delaware Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins.

Chase, and Joseph Poppiti, DFB executive director, contacted Billy Staples, a Nationwide agent with offices in Salisbury and Harrington, to see if he would be willing to put up half of the funding necessary. He was happy to do so.

Wilkins and Delaware Farm BureauPast President Kitty Holtz were instrumental in securing the balance of funding from Schiff Farms Inc. in Harrington.

Schiff Farms, which began as a poultry farm in 1945, is now an operation with 270,000 acres across five states. The corporate office is in Harrington, as is a 2.6 million bushel grain elevator and a 6,000-head beef cattle confinement feedlot.

WSFS donates New Jersey site to Habitat

WSFS Bank has donated an 11-acre property in Evesham Township, NJ to Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County and Greater Trenton-Princeton, providing the organization with a $300,000 in-kind contribution through the property transfer.

Habitat for Humanity plans to develop affordable housing units on 1.5 acres of the 11-acre property and will donate the remaining land to Evesham Township for the protection of wet lands and to make the area more accessible to the local community.

After being approached in 2018 by Evesham Township to help it develop additional affordable housing options, Habitat for Humanity identified a property then owned by Beneficial Bank (now WSFS).

The price tag of the land was not within the nonprofit’s budget, but Habitat for Humanity and Beneficial management began conversations about an arrangement that could include the sale of the property for a reduced price.

Beneficial had inherited the tract from a bank it had acquired that wanted to build a branch at the site. The wetlands proved to be a deal-breaker for potential buyers of the site, WSFS noted.

Conversations continued after WSFS Bank acquired Beneficial in March 2019 and resulted in WSFS donating the entire property. Construction of the four housing units will begin in the fall of 2020.

“We are excited to lend a hand, financially and through associate volunteerism, to help provide affordable housing to the hardworking families of Evesham Township,” said WSFS Bank CEO, Rodger Levenson. “As a community bank, WSFS believes in the foundation and stability that homeownership provides to the families and communities that we serve, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Habitat for Humanity and assisting them with the completion of this project and others in the region.”

Jazz Festival donation to Beebe

Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival board members present a gift of $20,000 to Sussex County’s Beebe Healthcare and Beebe Medical Foundation as part of their 5-year pledge to raise $100,000 toward Beebe’s new cancer center at the South Coastal Health Campus now being constructed near Millville.

Grotto, Tito’s donate $10,000 to Easterseals

Grotto Pizzarecently collaborated withTito’s Handmade Vodkato donate $10,000 to theDelaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore Division of Easterseals, and also took part in a volleyball tournament sponsored by the non-profit that raised money for their mission and charitable causes.

In early 2019, Tito’s and Grotto Pizza pledged to team up and work together to raise money for Easterseals with the craft vodka company committing to donate $1 for every Tito’s beverage sold companywide at Grotto Pizza in April and May.

Grotto Pizza sold more than 10,000 Tito’s beverages resulting in the donation from the vodka company. Also, eight Grotto Pizza stores participated in the annual tournament raising $9,335 with the Middletown Grotto Pizza location bringing in the most donations at $3,225.

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