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Kinray CEO’s philanthropy makes a lot of dreams come true

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK —Stewart Rahr is at it again: making wishes come true for kids who he said have been “robbed of their childhood” by serious or life-threatening illnesses.

Rahr is the billionaire founder and CEO of Kinray, the nation’s largest privately held pharmaceutical wholesaler, which he built over the last four decades through a high-service policy and personal attention to independent and small-chain pharmacy clients. He’s also the top donor for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York.

Thanks to a million-dollar challenge grant from Kinray’s founder, the group’s fundraising efforts reached a zenith at its annual donor’s gala this year. The event generated an “incredible” response from the hundreds of business leaders and donors who packed the Cipriani Wall Street Restaurant in New York June 10, said Pat Clemency, president and CEO of the New York chapter.

“It was amazing,” she told Drug Store News. “We raised $3 million.”

Rahr was the driving force behind the event’s extraordinary success. Not only did he donate $1 million in matching pledge funds, Clemency said, he also spurred the event’s hundreds of supporters to give more to the cause with a second, unanticipated challenge grant, on the spot.

“He got up and said, ‘I will pledge another $8,000 a table if each table can match my donation.’ He basically empowered the entire room,” Clemency remembered.

With 50 tables filled with donors, that means that Rahr’s total personal commitment to Make-A-Wish came to $1.4 million for the night—and some $3.7 million overall in the six years he has been involved with the program. Rahr’s example also prompted Kinray employees who attended the dinner were prompted by Rahr’s example to chip in another $50,000 on their own, Clemency revealed.

Kinray’s CEO said he’s motivated to give to causes that “touch my heart,” and added that money “can change people’s lives” if applied in the right way. And his philanthropy extends well beyond Make-A-Wish to a slew of other causes.

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Giant Eagle awarded for green efforts

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH Giant Eagle has received four awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for its eco-friendly practices and sustainability efforts, the supermarket retailer said.

Giant Eagle was the recipient of the EPA Montreal Protocol award, the GreenChill environmental award, the GreenChill building certification and the EPA Smartway transport partnership perfect performance score.

“Our multiple partnerships with the EPA are a significant piece of our overall sustainability strategy, which also includes our energy management efforts and recycling initiatives,” said Shelly Sponholz, Giant Eagle SVP real estate and development. “We truly believe that our environmental commitment is a vital part to the success of both our communities and our business, as so many of the sustainable projects we undertake produce tangible benefits to each.”

Giant Eagle operates stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.

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Retailers urge Congress to reject Chinese currency legislation

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. As members of Congress move to try and force China to revalue its currency, the renminbi yuan, retailers are weighing in on the issue.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents more than 200 retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, asked lawmakers Friday to reject legislation under consideration Friday morning by the House Ways and Means Committee that would pressure China on its currency by imposing tariffs on products imported from there.

 

Alarge share of consumer products sold in the United States are made in China, and in many cases are no longer made in the United States. Thus, placing tariffs on goods imported from China could force retailers to pass the costs onto consumers.

 

 

“Provoking tension with our trading partners doesn’t come without costs, and we should choose our battles carefully, especially given the great amount of uncertainty in markets at this time,” RILA VP international trade Stephanie Lester said. “It makes little sense to enact harmful policies that will spark a bilateral conflict over currency with one of our largest trading partners and fastest-growing markets for American exports, given almost stagnant economic growth.”

 

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