Miracle Makers: Tops Never Stops Giving Kids More
Outstanding Commitment by a CMN Sponsor
Tops Friendly Markets sticks to a clear and straightforward belief: keep the giving local. Through its fundraising and volunteering, hosting and sponsoring events, and an ever-strong desire to help our region’s children, Tops has been awarded this year’s Outstanding Commitment by a Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Sponsor.
Since Tops became a CMN sponsor in 2005, the company has raised nearly $200,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. More important than the money Tops has raised, though, is the vigorous commitment Tops has made to help children in the Rochester area.
“We have a simple philosophy: ‘Living here, giving here,’” said Andy Brocato, senior manager of community relations and special events at Tops Markets.
The lucid motto sets the tone for understanding the relationship that has developed over the years between Golisano Children’s Hospital and Tops. Tops goes above and beyond to support the children’s hospital, providing volunteers and food for events, holding promotions and shopping sprees at its stores, sponsoring the annual Drive for Miracles Radiothon and Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, and hosting its own fundraising events like Monte Carlo Night.
“I know when I ask, ‘Can you help us out?’ their answer is always an enthusiastic ‘Yes,’” said Betsy Findlay, associate director of the office of advancement for Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Tops associates recognize the importance of giving back to the communities they live and work in, especially when they see what a difference Golisano Children’s Hospital makes to this community. It was natural for Tops to join the Children’s Miracle Network for just that reason. The network, which includes 170 children’s hospitals nationwide, is wonderfully wide-spanning institution that forges bonds between children’s hospitals and the corporations, like Tops, who want to help them. The special connection between Tops and the hospital goes even deeper because one of Tops’ associates, Eric Czekanski, has a personal connection with the hospital. Eric is not only a manager at Tops, but he is also a grateful parent.
Eric’s son Bryce has a rare genetic disorder, called Hurler-Scheie syndrome, which consequently brings Bryce and Eric to Golisano Children’s Hospital every week for synthetic enzyme-replacement therapy. Bryce has gotten to know the hospital very well over the past six years he’s been receiving his weekly IV-therapy, which lasts six-hours each session.
Bryce has created artwork for the Monte Carlo Night invitations and for Kards for Kids, a special set of holiday cards that Tops sells to raise money for the children’s hospital. Bryce and his dad have shared their story at children’s hospital events like Radiothon and the opening of the Pediatric Outpatient Treatment Center in 2008. The Czekanskis’ dedication has inspired employees at the 19 Tops stores that support Golisano Children’s Hospital to be enthusiastic advocates for the hospital.
“We’re extremely honored and extremely humbled to join the wonderful sponsors who have been named Miracle Makers in past years,” said Brocato, “Of course, the award is secondary. We don’t support Golisano Children’s Hospital for recognition, we do it for the right reasons, for the good of the community.”