Giving back: Bank of America, Grotto Pizza, Sallie Mae, Dot Foods

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(Editor’s note: We welcome news of your company’s donations.  Send items to drainey@delawarebusinessnow.com. We have a backlog of items. If you have not seen your submission, let us know)

Bank of America announces $500,000 grant

Bank of America announced a $500,000 grant toward a $10 million Endowed Fund for Translational Cancer Research at ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute.

The fund will benefit communities throughout Delaware and around the country by supporting biomedical research for new breast, ovarian, lung and colorectal cancer treatments, gene editing and other areas. This program will directly support workforce development and impact the health of the community, removing barriers to economic success and advancing a more diverse and inclusive society.

 “The way we value and support our community is a reflection of who we are as a company,” said Chip Rossi, Bank of America Delaware market president. “We know that in underserved communities, the incidence of cancer and access to health care is a challenge. We are honored to partner with ChristianaCare to improve the health and quality of life for Delaware residents.”

Bank of America is a long-time supporter of ChristianaCare, with gifts in 2002 helping to establish the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute and endowing the medical directorship of the cancer program, and in 2005 in support of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health.

Bank of America is the successor bank to MBNA, which was instrumental in funding the Graham Cancer Center. The Cawley Center is named after the co-founder of MBNA Charles Cawley.

“Thanks to Bank of America’s generous gift, we can continue to change the landscape of cancer research and care  in Delaware – extending the boundaries of scientific discovery and accelerating cures,” said Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America Endowed Medical Director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “This funding will enable us to enhance the quality and value of the research and care we provide in our community, including addressing racial disparities and social determinants of health.”

A Bank of America release noted that Delaware is the second smallest state in the nation, but when the Graham Cancer Center opened in 2002 it ranked highest in the nation for incidence and mortality rates for cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Today, Delaware now ranks 18th in the nation.

ChristianaCare has one of the busiest cancer programs on the East Coast, treating more than 70 percent of the cancer cases in Delaware.

Established in 2009, the Cawley Center for Translational Cancer Research is a formal collaborative program between the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute and academic partner institutions.

Sallie Mae Fund makes $150,000 grant to Year Up

The Sallie Mae Fund, the charitable arm of Stanton-Christiana-based  Sallie Mae, announced a $150,000 grant to Year Up Wilmington. The contribution, presented during a ceremony at Wilmington University in New Castle, will support the non-profit’s workforce development programs for local young adults.

In attendance at the event were leadership and employees from both Sallie Mae and Year Up Wilmington, including Bonnie Rumbold, senior vice president, chief human resources officer, Sallie Mae, and Hassan Charles, executive director, Year Up Greater Philadelphia and Wilmington, and more than 60 Year Up students.

“There are over 5 million young adults in the U.S., ages 18-24, who are disconnected from employment and education due to socio-economic inequities. Meanwhile, America’s employers face a real and growing need for talent. Our mission is to close the opportunity divide by empowering young adults and connecting them to promising positions that businesses, like Sallie Mae, are trying to fill,” said Hassan Charles, executive director, Year Up Greater Philadelphia and Wilmington. “We are grateful for Sallie Mae’s continued support to move opportunity youth into living wages and meaningful careers”.

Year Up Wilmington offers coaching and hands-on skill development programs for 18-24-year-olds. Year Up’s training, internships, and partnership with Wilmington University have enabled hundreds of young adults to kickstart their careers. Eighty percent of the program’s graduates are employed or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of completing the program.

“Year Up Wilmington is an invaluable resource, both for students and businesses in Delaware,” said Bonnie Rumbold, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Sallie Mae, and Year Up board member. “Tapping into their strong pipeline of talent, we’ve hired several employees through this program. We’re proud to work together to empower the community’s young adults with a pathway to achieve their professional and personal dreams.”

Through its partnership with Year Up, Sallie Mae has offered paid internships and career opportunities to Year Up program graduates. In addition, Rumbold was recently honored with the Corporate Champion Award from Year Up Wilmington.  

Since 2014, The Sallie Mae Fund has awarded nearly $2 million in grants to non-profit organizations in the communities in which its employees live and work.  For more information about Sallie Mae’s efforts in the community, visit SallieMae.com.

Grotto Pizza makes donation to Susan G. Komen

Grotto Pizza, a Rehoboth-based restaurant group,  donated $14,620 to Susan G. Komen, Maryland/Kent and Sussex Counties, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.

Komen works to raise money to fund breast cancer research and provide real-time help to those that are facing the disease.

Grotto Pizza pledged to donate $2 for every specialty pizza sold during the month of October to Susan G. Komen.

“We’re incredibly honored to partner with Susan G. Komen and are proud of our employees and the community for supporting Grotto Pizza in the fight against breast cancer,” said Jeff Gosnear, vice president of Grotto Pizza. “This donation is a representation of our longtime commitment to community service and we extend our genuine gratitude to our loyal customers for their charitable spirit in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness and National Pizza Month throughout this month-long campaign.”

Dot Foods makes $20,000 distribution

 Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, just made a total contribution of $20,000 worth of food to four New Castle County area food pantries.

Dot is currently building a $36 million, 188,000 square-foot distribution center in Bear. The company plans to celebrate its grand opening in early 2020. The Delaware distribution center is currently hiring and will employ 100 people for warehouse, truck driver and administrative roles within the first year and up to 200 by 2022.

The donations are part of Dot’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor philanthropic program benefitting local efforts to fight hunger. This is the first time Dot has been able to bring the Neighbor-to-Neighbor philanthropic program to a community before the site is fully operational.

The 2019 Neighbor-to-Neighbor recipient pantries are:

  • Cedars Church of Christ Food Pantry (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Claymont Community Center Food Closet (Claymont, Del.)
  • Healthy Pantry Center (Newark, Del.)
  • Hudson State Service Center Food Pantry (Newark, Del.)

 “Dot is about food. That’s why we are so passionate about this project and supporting our local food pantries who are working year-round toward ending hunger,” said Joe Little, Dot Foods Delaware general manager. “We are so glad to be able to start giving back to the newest community we are calling home. Supporting the work of our local food pantries is the heart of our Neighbor-to-Neighbor program. It is neighbors helping neighbors, working together to make sure everyone can put a meal on their table.”

Each food pantry was given a list of available items from Dot’s inventory. They were then able to select the products that would best address their specific needs. Dot volunteers will help the food pantry staff and volunteers in receiving and unloading their donations.

Since 2016, Dot has opted to donate directly to food pantries each year, allowing employees more visibility to the contributions at work in their own communities.  Dot will make similar donations in the communities of each of its 12 U.S. distribution centers and the company’s corporate sales office for a total contribution of around $350,000 this year.

In its business model, Dot breaks down large shipments of canned and other items for use by distributors. Even small dents on cans cannot be sent to wholesalers but may be suitable for food pantries.

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