Archive for Saturday, April 23, 2005

Chamber, United Way to honor businesses

Raven Bookstore, Intrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Amarr to be recognized

April 23, 2005


The United Way of Douglas County and Lawrence Chamber of Commerce on Friday will recognize four companies that are giving back to their communities.

The 2004 Spirit of Caring Award honors businesses that recognized as leaders in strengthening Douglas County through charitable giving and the promotion of volunteerism.

The Spirit of Caring awards are:

Raven Bookstore (10 or fewer employees)

8 E. Seventh St.

The Raven Bookstore has contributed its financial support to numerous nonprofit groups, including Welcome Club of Lawrence, the high schools' After Graduation Party and the Douglas County AIDS Project.

Co-owners Pat Kehde and Mary Lou Wright have contributed more than $2,500 to several nonprofit organizations.

The bookstore created the Langston Hughes Literary Award in 1996. It teams with the Lawrence Arts Center to annually recognize two writers living in Douglas County.

Kehde volunteers in political, downtown and preservation groups. Wright devotes time with Meals on Wheels and the Fairy Godmother Fund.

Bookstore staffers also volunteer for community theater, animal care, Meals on Wheels and historic preservation.

"We do it for different reasons, but I suspect all of us would say that we like giving back to this great community a little bit of what we have been given," Kehde said. "Also, there are many issues we feel strongly about and things just need to get done, the only way sometimes to accomplish this is to volunteer our time."

Intrust Bank (10 to 50 employees)

901 Vt.

Intrust Bank's contributions of $73,000 in the past year benefited programs in education, sports, business, health and human services. Officer and employee charitable contributions totaled $43,000

The bank helped fund and was host to a Gala Holiday Dinner with gifts from Lawrence Memorial Hospital medical staff, board of trustees and Lawrence Endowment Assn. board. Bank employees annually volunteer more than 1,800 hours of their time to 50 programs.

"A community without volunteerism would be a selfish and desolate place. Intrust Bank and its employees are proud to participate actively in the many and varied volunteer efforts which are key to making Lawrence such a caring and productive city," said Don Johnston, Intrust president.

US Bank (51 to 150 employees)

900 Mass.

US Bank contributed more than $94,000 to area nonprofit organizations. It encourages its 77 employees to financially support and participate in community events at all levels. It is involved in "Adventure in Imagination" Junior Achievement and Lawrence Sesquicentennial fund raising. More than 50 health and human services, schools, neighbrohoods and arts programs have benefited from US Bank and its employees' generous gift of time and resources. The bank has recently started a recognition program for its employees, honoring their years of service and their involvement in the community. This year, US Bank will begin the "Five Star Community Service Award" community. Two hundred fifty awards wil be distributed nationwide

"We really appreciate this award because it acknowledges the importance of being involved with our community," said Charles Warner, US Bank president. "US Bank and our employees recognize that we need to contribute to our community, both financially and with time and effort. This is a wonderful honor since Lawrence is a community where so many people do and give so much."

Amarr Garage Doors (more than 150 employees)

3800 Greenway Cir

Amarr Garage Doors and its employees have contributed more than $72,400 in financial support to several nonprofit organizations, including United Way, Cottonwood Inc. and Excellence by Design. Habitat for Humanity and Tenants to Homeowners have benefited from the generous in-kind donations of residential garage doors. Amarr associates have a tradition of volunteerism, actively participating in their churches and children's school activities, as well as contributing their time to nonprofit groups, such as Penn House, Salvation Army and BrookCreek Learning Center.

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