FLORIDA, N.Y. (November 19, 2013) – On the strength of a second consecutive record-breaking year, ShopRite Supermarkets today announced that its veterans fundraising campaign has now collected more than $1.2 million in five years to benefit various local  organizations aiding service men and women and their families.

“The 2013 campaign, which was spearheaded by ShopRite customers, store associates and community partners, raised more than $350,000,” said Tom Urtz, Vice President of Human Resources and Community Affairs for ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc., which owns and operates 33 ShopRite stores in New York and New Jersey.

ShopRite’s veterans initiative is comprised of a variety of fundraising efforts including generous customer donations collected at the register and employee-led events such as car washes, hot dog sales, pancake breakfasts and raffles.

“ShopRite’s annual veterans campaign is so rewarding because we know the funds we raise are used to assist the brave men and women who have put themselves in harm’s way to protect our great Country,” Urtz said.  “They have earned our eternal respect and our support.”

The top five fundraising stores are:  1) ShopRite of Thornwood, $28,690; 2) ShopRite of Fishkill, $20,518; 3) ShopRite of Chester, $19,498; 4) ShopRite of Ellenville $19,052; and 5) ShopRite of Liberty, $17,254.

Among the groups who will benefit from the 2013 ShopRite Veterans Campaign are:  The Tower of Hope; the Hudson Valley Honor Flight; the Unified Military Affairs Council (formerly Schenectady Military Affairs Council; The Orange County Veterans Food Pantry; the Committee for the Families of Iraq & Afghanistan War Vets; and the Tri-County Council for Vietnam Era Veterans.

The Tower of Hope – Provides funding to prepare and care for expertly-trained service dogs so seriously wounded veterans can live in greater safety and comfort, and with greater independence.  With service dogs costing more than $25,000 per year, The Tower of Hope proudly provides dogs to veterans at no charge. 

Hudson Valley Honor Flight – A local chapter of the National Honor Flight Network, the group serves veterans in Orange, Ulster, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties with the goal of providing two flights a year between Stewart Airport and Washington D.C. to transport veterans of World War II, and terminally ill veterans of other wars, to their national memorials.

Unified Military Affairs Council – The group’s mission is to highlight the importance of the Stratton Air National Guard base and other military installations to the overall well-being of the Capital Region and Tech Valley.   The organization’s main goal is to ensure the long-term viability and success of the 109th Airlift Wing and other military units in the Capital Region.

The Orange County Veterans Food Pantry – Provides food and non-perishable items for the growing community of veterans of all ages and branches of service.  Orange County oversees the pantry and provides delivery service to families without transportation.

The Committee for the Families of Iraq & Afghanistan War Vets – Provides emotional, financial and educational support for mid-Hudson Valley veterans and families of military personnel killed or wounded while fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The organization also helps veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, offers funding for therapy and rehabilitation, and professional consultations to retain and reintroduce veterans back into the work force.

Tri-City Council for Vietnam Era Veterans – Aids and assists veterans of Vietnam and their families in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties.  Among the group’s many efforts is direct financial assistance to veterans, endowments at several area colleges and travel assistance for veterans in need of specialized out-of-state medical treatment. 

The top five fundraising stores are:  1) ShopRite of Thornwood, $28,690; 2) ShopRite of Fishkill, $20,518; 3) ShopRite of Chester, $19,498; 4) ShopRite of Ellenville $19,052; 5) ShopRite of Liberty, $17,254.