Stewart's 'Holiday Match' raises $1.28 million for local charities

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Knowing that their cash contributions through Stewart's Shops would be doubled, the public responded over the past two months with a spirit of generosity, the convenience store reported this week.

Stewart's Shops' annual Holiday Match program has set records in its 24th year of collecting donations for local children's charities, Stewarts officials announced this week.

Stewart's customers contributed $640,000. Stewart's Shops is matching that amount, with a total of $1.28 million to be distributed to local children's charitable organizations, according to Stewart's Foundation President Susan Dake.

"We are fortunate in these times to once again be able to grow Holiday Match to a record level, up about 2 percent from last year," Dake said. "We thank our customers, shop partners and media partners for their loyalty and hard work."

The Holiday Match program relies on customers making contributions from Thanksgiving through Christmas in the 328 Stewart's Shops located upstate New York and in western Vermont. The money raised benefits children's organizations directly within the communities where Stewart's Shops are located. There are no deductions for administrative costs. Including this year's donations, over $14.5 million will have been allocated since the program's inception in 1986.

The $640,000 that Stewart's is matching is 28 percent of the $2,250,000 donations Stewart's has budgeted for 2011.

Dake added that Stewart's has assisted thousands of deserving local entities.

"The need is increasing as more and more sources of funding disappear," she said. "Our company theme is 'We Are Closer To You' and we will be throughout 2011."

Children's charities can still apply for funding from the Holiday Match Program. Applications are available in Stewart's Shops or online at www.stewartsshops.com. Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 31. See: www.stewartsshops.com for details.

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