Ace’s Motorcycle Mission rides again
For the fourth year in a row, the Ace Foundation’s "Motorcycle Miracle Mission" is hitting the road to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The event generated $100,000 for the cause in the last three years. Riders will travel the 600-mile route from Oak Brook, Ill. — headquarters of Ace Hardware — to Marshfield, Wis., and back July 22-24.
"Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, life-saving research and preventive education for children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," said Jimmy Alexander, president of the Ace Hardware Foundation. "There is a Children’s Miracle Network hospital dedicated to serving children in every community across the United States and Canada. These hospitals are committed to providing the best care for children when they need it."
The event is soliciting sponsors and riders — the rider commitment is $2,000. Fundraising money solicited by the rider will be applied to the participation fee.
The Foundation is seeking event sponsorships as well, ranging from a $5,000 to $15,000 packages that include placement of donor logos on the chase van, official rider’s shirt and other publicity.
The Ace Foundation is hoping to raise $100,000 this year.
Tornado devastates Kansas town
There wasn’t a lot of media attention on Reading, Kan., last week, when a tornado touched down on the night of May 21 and wiped out most of the town. The press corps was focused on Joplin, Mo., and Reading (rhymes with bedding) is a small farming community: Approximately 230 people were living in 40 homes; Reading Elementary School only has about 67 students.
By Sunday morning, May 22, about 10 homes were left, some of them partly destroyed. The town’s school had its roof torn off, and its post office, Baptist Church and volunteer fire department were damaged. One man was killed when his mobile home was flipped over.
Jeff Clark, a Do it Best dealer in nearby Lyndon, had been tracking the F3 category tornado on Saturday night. Lyndon Building Materials is the closest lumberyard and hardware store to Reading, and Clark was worried about Reading. “We had customers in that town, and we knew they’d be in trouble,” Clark said. But the National Guard had closed off all the roads leading into Reading.
Clark opened his home center early Sunday morning, and his Reading customers started streaming in. “They bought water, plywood and screw guns,” Clark said, referring to cordless drills. There was no power in Reading, so everything had to be battery-driven.
By Monday, the National Guard started letting people into the area. Clark sent some of his employees with cordless power tools, plywood and 2x4s to help residents board up their houses. At press time, Reading residents were being allowed back into their homes for a couple of hours a day to recover their possessions.
With new structure, Home Hardware seeks growth
Home Hardware Center is preparing to expand its 18-store footprint in Mississippi and Louisiana, according to the company’s owners, who say they are looking to bring acquisition expertise to a new venture called Central Network Retail Group (CNRG).
Jimmy R. Smith, president of Natchez, Miss.-based 18-unit Home Hardware Center, and Boyden Moore, the former CEO of Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin’s Home Centers and currently president of Tyndale Advisors, are the creators of the new CNRG. The Mississippi-based retail management and operations company — with initials that reflect the word "synergy" — will initially own and operate the Home Hardware Center chain.
Moore said the new company will not only help with growing the chain, it will also help with the long-term transition prospects for other family-held businesses. “We established CNRG to provide an opportunity for an orderly transition of family ownership by independent hardware and home center owners who are currently facing the challenges of succession and generational transfer,” he said.
The two home center veterans said that plans are in place for Home Hardware Centers to expand beyond Mississippi and Louisiana. According to Smith, “We have the financing in place to fund our current growth plans with Home Hardware Center, but we are also looking for opportunities to partner with good operators to grow multiple retail chains and store formats under the right circumstances.”
CNRG will be jointly owned by Home Hardware Center and Tyndale Advisors.