SOURCE: Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware

May 03, 2010 09:05 ET

Ace Hardware Announces Nationwide Contest to Give High Schools a Helpful Hand

Ace to Award Paint Makeovers to One High School in Every State Through Its Community Outreach Initiative

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - May 3, 2010) -  Ace Hardware today announced the kick-off of its Helpful Hands campaign, a nationwide contest awarding paint makeovers to one deserving high school in each of the 50 states. Partnering with its retailers across the country, Ace will give the winning high schools a $2,000 paint makeover along with a day of labor from community volunteers.

This program was developed to help schools discover that a new coat of paint does more than add color to the walls; it marks a new beginning, boosts spirits and establishes pride where it is needed the most. Unfortunately, such physical improvements can fall to the wayside during a downturn economy and ensuing budget cuts.

"Now more than ever, schools are in need of support from their communities, and through this initiative, local Ace retailers and neighborhood volunteers will join forces to help bring back the pride in our nation's schools," says Jeff Gooding, director of consumer marketing at Ace Hardware. "Ace has a long tradition of supporting our communities, and we take pride in the fact that being 'the helpful place' expands beyond the walls of our stores. With a little paint, a dedicated team and the motivation to make an impact, Helpful Hands will give schools the fresh start they deserve."

Contest entries can be submitted online at http://www.AceHardware.com/HelpfulHands between May 1 and May 31, 2010. To participate, entrants must submit a completed application form, a 100-150 word essay explaining why the nominated high school deserves a paint makeover and a video of 60 seconds or less or three (3) photos showcasing the area in need. Entries will be judged based on the school's need for a paint makeover, as well as the emotional significance of the essay and visuals submitted in the entry materials. All nominated schools must be state or federally accredited and have not-for-profit status. The paint makeover can take place in any area of the school designated for student use, such as a cafeteria, gym or classroom.

The winning schools will be announced in September and local Ace retailers and community volunteers will join forces to complete the makeovers later in the fall. In addition to the winning schools, Ace will identify a runner-up in each state to receive a $500 Ace gift card to put toward its own paint makeover.

Ace Paint, one of the top paint manufacturers in the United States and a division of Ace Hardware Corporation, will supply the paint for each project, along with product donations from local Ace retailers. In April 2010, Ace Paint introduced Royal Finest™, the world's only low-VOC paint with Scotchgard™ Protector. This unique paint offers consumers the opportunity to be environmentally responsible, while still providing ultimate stain resistance. In addition to Royal Finest, Ace Paint also offers Royal™ and Essence™ paint lines, all of which have achieved GREEN WISE® certification, which means that the paint has been tested and approved by Coatings Research Group, Inc., to meet stringent performance and environmental standards.

To nominate a school, please visit www.acehardware.com/HelpfulHands. To learn more about Ace and Ace Paint, visit your neighborhood Ace Hardware store or go to www.acehardware.com.

About Ace Hardware
For more than 85 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the helpful hardware store by both customers and communities. In 2009, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Stores for the Third Consecutive Year," according to J.D. Power and Associates. With 4,500 locally owned and operated hardware, home center and building materials stores, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and one in Shanghai, China, and its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.

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