Shopping centers honored for their philanthropic campaigns
LAS VEGAS, May 21, 2017 – The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Foundation has presented the 2017 U.S. Community Support Award to four regional recipients, and the 2017 Albert Sussman International Community Support Award to Oxford Properties’ Kingsway Mall. The ICSC Foundation presented the awards during a ceremony at RECon, the premier retail real estate conference in Las Vegas.
Shopping centers play an integral role to the social, civic and economic vibrancy to the communities they serve. Unlike any other “place,” they are a significant job creator, driver of GDP and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes that fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks.
The ICSC Foundation’s Community Support Awards highlight the social aspect of the industry, showcasing the country’s premier examples of corporate social responsibility and community outreach conducted by shopping centers, their management companies, and developers. The following properties won the U.S. Community Support Award for their respective region.
2017 Albert Sussman International Community Support Award
“Kingsway Mall helps Fort McMurray
The Kingsway Mall and The Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society (EERSS) partnered together in May 2016 to help residents re-located due to a fire outbreak and emergency that left 88,000 residents displaced. The largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history, the management team of Kingsway Mall immediately spearheaded a movement to convert a vacant anchor space into the only distribution center in the City of Edmonton where the EERSS could disperse basic necessities to wildfire evacuees. Three weeks after the distribution center opened, wildfire evacuees returned en-masse and Oxford Properties organized an ‘Oxford Volunteer Day’ where employees who worked on other projects in Edmonton to assist with the center.
Kingsway Mall didn’t just house this center but also distributed tote bags to evacuees with water, gift cards and discount coupons. Children evacuees received bags filled with puzzles, games and juice boxes. Organizing the support of current retailers, Kingsway Mall offered special discounts to evacuees ranging from 10%-75%. Packages for new moms were also delivered to the nearby hospital as a mother’s day gift for mom’s who gave birth within the time of evacuation.
Since the opening of the distribution center, 58,000 Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees have visited the center to receive assistance. In the first full week of operations 31,000 evacuees were aided. 7,270 volunteers donated 29,000 hours to keep the center open from 10am-5pm daily. The center also distributed 80 semi-trailer truckloads of donations from across Canada to those affected.
Southern Region and Overall U.S. Community Support Award Winner
“Destin Commons Coins for a Cause”
Destin Commons, a shopping center in Destin, Florida, partnered with 26 local non-profit agencies for it’s philanthropic initiative that has to date donated $1.2 million since it’s invention ten years ago. “Coins for a Cause” brings a very simple initiative, collecting coins from premium parking meters around the shopping center and donates the money to local non-profit organizations around Destin, FL. Non-profit partners promote health and wellness, adults and children with special needs, wounded warriors, arts and culture, children in need, animal welfare and life enrichment organizations within the Destin community. On top of the meter change collected, Destin Commons also held an event July 3rd ‘Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival’ benefiting the local non-profits they partner with.
More so than just continuing to donate money to local non-profits, Destin Commons utilizes their on-site, digital and print platforms to share the missions of their partner organizations as well as their fundraising efforts. Many staff members serve on the board of directors for the non-profit organizations Destin Commons works with as well.
“The Goldenberg Group & Lowe’s Home Improvement Partner to build 60 Dresses for Family Homeless Shelter”
Goldenberg Group Management, Inc. (The Goldenberg Group)
Metroplex Shopping Center
The Goldenberg Group partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement and Stenton Family Manor, a shelter in the City of Philadelphia, to build 61 dressers for Stenton residents. The Stenton Family Manor is the only shelter in Philadelphia that doesn’t separate families based on the genders of parents and children. Providing emergency housing, parenting classes, job and life skills training as well as emotional support and a warm environment. The Goldenberg Group has previously partnered with Stenton Family Manor for three years and in the summer of 2015 the shelter was able to undergo a $50,000 renovation thanks to the Goldenberg Group.
Partnering for the 5th year in a row, The Goldenberg Group led the Annual Summer Improvement Project at their Metroplex Shopping Center where for two days volunteers built, sanded and finished dressers to give residents of the Stenton Family Manor a place to store their belongings that not only kept their clothing organized but gave them a sense of dignity.
“Witches Night Out”
CenterCal Properties, LLC
The Village at Meridian
In October 2016, in recognition for Domestic Violence Month, the Village at Meridian set the goal of generating awareness and at least $6,000 in funds for the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA). For the Village at Meridian, this cause hit close to home. Four out of Five women working in the office for the shopping center have suffered from domestic abuse. The WCA is making a difference in helping both women and children in event of domestic violence. However, with a long waitlist to be put into safe housing and a lack of funding at least 53 adults and 40 children wait each month to access the services WCA provides. By pledging to raise $6,000 the Village at Meridian would move 50 women off the waiting list.
Using a Halloween themed “Witches Night Out,” event that transformed the Village at Meridian into a lively ‘bewitched’ event, bringing community members together to listen to live music, bid on raffles, compete in costume contests and enjoy street vendors. Surpassing the $6,000 goal, The Village at Meridian raised over $12,000 for the Women and Children’s alliance.
“Can’structing for the Win at West Towne Mall”
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.
West Towne Mall
CBL & Associates Properties Inc., partnered with Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) in local Madison, WI to help raise awareness and boost the MOM’s annual event. Childhood hunger is over an overlooked issue in Madison, WI where The West Towne Mall resides. Around 25% of children in the community suffer from food insecurity and the Middleton Outreach Ministry, a multiple faith charity to help care for basic needs in the area, holds an annual food-drive event. Working together, MOM and the CBL & Associates team worked to promote the event through social media, public relations pitches to the media and in-mall advertising.
Due to the increased visibility of the event, 42 tons of food donations were made to MOM compared to 28 tons in previous years. West Towne Mall was able to assist a long-standing community non-profit and connect the community to an important cause that would benefit them.
About ICSC Foundation
The ICSC Foundation is the charitable arm of ICSC. The ICSC Foundation is dedicated to career development through educational endeavors, and to engaging, promoting and recognizing those in the retail real estate industry who contribute to making their communities better. For more information, visit www.icscfoundation.org.