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Ace Hardware Raises $50K for Japan, Sets Sights on Another $50K

Gene Pedrotti offered to match donations but doesn't stop there.

Gene Pedrotti knew he had to do something when he saw the devastation caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and the tsunami in Japan. He decided to raise $50,000. His plan was to match every donation made at his store, Pedrotti Ace Hardware, up to $25,000.

"The logistics were pretty easy," said Pedrotti. "The hard part was making sure the cashiers asked people to donate."

The cashiers did their part. On Wednesday, Pedrotti handed a $50,000 check to Meredith Terrell of the Solano County office of the Red Cross.

Then he walked out the front of his store and showed off his banner declaring the fundraising goal had been upped to $100,000.

"We're going to kick the can farther down the road," said Pedrotti.

Also in attendance at the store Wednesday morning were Benicia High School students Briana Valenzuela and Carley Barrett, who raised more than $1,000 for Japan disaster relief. 

According to Pedrotti, the majority of the donors were customers who would donate the change from purchases. He estimated about 900 donations were made at the register and an additional 100 came in the form of larger checks donated by people who had heard he was matching donations.

While the number of donors was greater at the cash registers, the money raised was about even between the two groups.

In an email to customers and donors, Pedrotti thanked them for their support and announced his intention to raise another $50,000 by the end of April.

Anyone wishing to make a donation and have it matched can drop their donation off at Pedrotti Ace Hardware. Pedrotti is encouraging people to make checks out to the Red Cross for tax purposes, and bring the checks to the store. He will match the donation.

Teresa March 31, 2011 at 01:50 PM
Ace has always helped out the community, as well as giving in the time of need. They helped me with fundraising efforts when 911 happened, this is a feel good story, Ace really steps up to the plate in crisis. More businesses need to follow suit.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" March 31, 2011 at 05:22 PM
While Ace Hardware needs to be commended for their humanitarian efforts towards Japan. It still leaves me wondering why is it that people seem to want to help others outside of the community instead of the ones inside of the community. Am I the only one that see it this way. Mr. Pedrotti doesn't hire African Americans in his store despite the fact that they shop there and are among the highest un-employment group. So while Japan is getting needed help thousands of miles away to deal with their immediate problems. African Americans in Mr. Pedrottis' own city can't even get a low level job at his ACE HARDWARE store in Benicia. WHAT GIVES!!
Teresa March 31, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Are you kidding me you are going to make this a race issue? Unbelievable, if anything some money should be raised to help our educational system,which really needs to be fixed.
Elaine April 01, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Everyone has an agenda!! Kuddo's to ACE, I agree with you Teresa....
Carlene Coury April 01, 2011 at 05:52 AM
Hello Gene, I want to thank you and your staff for puttng together this fund-raisng event. The results have been incredible. The Japanese people have remained stoic throughout this terrible disaster. Just as the people of Epygt have gained their independence through relatively peaceful means, the Japanese have also shown their character in the face of unbelievable devastation and loss of life. The whole world could stand to learn some very valuable lessons from these two groups. But, to those who do not think that ACE hardware reaches out its own community, I would ask that they look at the years which Gene Pedrotti sponsored the Jokers' of ACE, and the proceeds went to help various community outreach programs regarless of race or ethnicity. And, for the readers who don't feel that ACE hires African Americn employees, where are the facts to back up these statements? Did you recently apply for a job there and was turned down? Without hard evidence, how can one make such a blanket statement? And, if African Amerians have applied to work there, were they given reasons why they weren't hred. I guess the person who wrote earlier won't be shopping at ACE, in Benicia, anymore because that would be hypocritical, right?
"The Black Panther of Poetry" April 01, 2011 at 07:37 PM
You are right on the "money" with that one and I hope that the rest of Benicias' African American Community stop shopping in Ace Hardware as well. Just try it, make a conscious effort to not patronize a company that cares more about helping every one else but its' own fellow citizens. Whom over-whelmingly are bearing the worst of this economic melt down that was created from eight years of the Republicans and the idiots who voted them in. I challenge my critics to go into Ace Hardware and spy for your self. I will give you a ten dollar bill if you fine an African American working their today. Even dumb animals know that the first law of nature is self preservation!!!
Robert Livesay April 01, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Bobbie I have not walked in your shoes. So it is at times difficult to know how you and other African Americans feel. I am a Republican and I am not an idiot nor a racist. Have you looked lately at McDonalds, Taco Bell and many other local business'. I guess you will not be shopping or doing business with the City of Benica. I am sure the business' are very sorry to lose your business. I do believe you should re-think your statement. The people of Benicia are very good people. Bob Livesay
Teresa April 01, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Bobby, in your sentence " you will give anyone a ten dollar bill if they fine an african american working their." first of all you find someone, not fine. Secondly, you work there,not their. now you are bringing politics into fundraising , no wonder you don't have a job you spend all of your time hating.
Teresa April 01, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Who are you calling a dumb animal?
Ari Soglin April 01, 2011 at 09:21 PM
This discussion is starting to turn into personal attacks. We'll close off comments for now. Maybe we'll reopen it later.

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