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Charity

BlueGrace Employee is Pedaling for a Cure

Pedaling for a Cure

On October 28, 2017, our own Gary Brodsky, better known as “Kickstand”, was honored by the Chairman/Owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft. Gary has been at the helm of the Patriots Platelet Pedalers for 10 years now. The PPP, as they are known, raise critical dollars for research each year by cycling in the Pan Mass challenge.  The Pan Massachusetts Challenge is a weekend long charity bicycle ride to benefit Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund. Started in 1980, the Pan Mass Challenge is the largest charity bicycling event in the country, raising over $500 million for cancer research and treatment. Gary was honored for his OUTSTANDING fundraising efforts, raising over 1 million dollars for the Pan Mass Challenge this year.

The History behind the Pedalers

Patriots Platelet Pedalers Logo on the big screen at Gillette.

Ronald E. Burton was an American football player for the Boston Patriots.  He was a consensus All-American running back at Northwestern University, and is a member of the Northwestern Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. Burton was the Boston Patriots’ first-ever American Football League draft choice in 1960. He was the first Patriot to rush for over 100 yards, along with many other firsts. Burton also still holds a Patriot record for his 91-yard touchdown return on a missed field goal in 1962.

In 1999 at 64 years of age, Ron was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (bone cancer) and given one to three years to live.

Ron Burton was treated at DFCI and became great friends with Dr. Ken Anderson. Dr. Anderson is one of the world leading researchers on multiple myeloma. 100% of the funds the Patriots Platelet Pedalers raise through the PMC are earmarked for Dr. Anderson’s continued efforts.

“We ride because we can. We ride for those who can not. We ride because the training rides and the 192 miles on the two days of the Pan Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) are nothing compared to living with or dying from cancer.”

One Team, One Mission

Robert and Josh Kraft address the over 200 guests who attended this year’s check presentation and rider appreciation party at Gillette Stadium on 10/28. 

Check for dollars raised in 2017 by 168 riders on Gary’s team for cancer research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Our Core Value #1 Be Caring Of All Others

BlueGrace is grateful to have such outstanding employees like Gary, who are striving to make a difference in our world and future. At BlueGrace we take as many opportunities as we can to help our communities, both people and animals when they need us most. Thank you Gary for leading the way!

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It’s Yappy Hour, Not Happy Hour! BlueGrace Helps Homeless Animals Of Tampa Bay.

Each Friday afternoon, bars and restaurants across the nation receive an influx of patrons ready for drink specials and relaxation after a long workweek. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay decided to put their own spin on this time-honored tradition and begin hosting “Yappy Hours” to raise money for their shelter in various locations around Tampa. “Yappy Hours” have become a popular event for young professionals and a great fundraising opportunity for HSTB. As a longtime partner of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, BlueGrace decided to host its very own Yappy Hour at a local employee favorite, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.

Puppies, Drinks and Tacos!

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Brandon, FL provided indoor and outdoor space so attendees could bring their own dogs, and Humane Society of Tampa Bay brought adoptable dogs in an effort to find their forever homes. “As a proud owner of three rescues of my own, we were excited to participate in such a great cause” said Ian Lieberman, co-owner of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.

BlueGrace worked with Fuzzy’s to gather raffle prizes that would generate as much buzz and excitement as possible. Luckily, many members of the Tampa Bay community were more than thrilled to donate prizes to the cause. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Rays and Bucs happily donated memorabilia and tickets for the raffle, while local attractions such as Lowry Park Zoo, MOSI, Busch Gardens, Big City Events and the Florida Aquarium donated tickets for admission. If sports or theme parks weren’t enough of an attraction, pet lovers had the opportunity to win a custom pet quilt and footprint keepsake from The Pet Loss Center. Local restaurants Brocato’s, WOB, The Columbia and Fuzzy’s themselves donated hundreds of dollars in gift cards. For our fitness-minded attendees there were health supplements donated by Southern Muscle, a one-month program package from Camp Gladiator, a five-class package from Orange Theory Fitness in Brandon, and one free month membership at Crossfit BNI. In total, over $5,500 in prizes were donated and raffled off.

A total of $1,013 was raised for Humane Society Tampa Bay

“As an organization we’ve hosted an annual food drive competition we call ‘Cats vs Dogs’ for HSTB for six years now” said Courtney Smith, Manager of Culture and Engagement.“We were excited to extend this effort out to our community and had a really great turnout!” In addition to the raffle, Fuzzy’s offered homemade dog treats and brownie sundaes with 100% of the proceeds going to HSTB. They also donated $1 from each frozen drink sold that night. Overall, the community response was tremendous. With over 200 in attendance,  a total of $1,013 was raised for Humane Society Tampa Bay to support their continuous efforts towards the homeless pet population in Tampa Bay. “Humane Society of Tampa Bay is such a phenomenal organization that does so much to help the homeless animals in our community” Smith continued. “Partnering with them for this event was truly a labor of love, we can’t wait to start planning the next one!”

Check out these photos from our Yappy Hour event!

Thank you to Dosia White Photography for capturing these awesome moments.

 

 

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BlueGrace Helps Houston With Truckloads Of Clothing

We are all aware of the damage inflicted on the Houston area from Hurricane Harvey. The amount of homes and lives destroyed was beyond what any of us could imagine. As a 3PL freight provider, there are many ways we can help; by utilizing our carriers we have had the ability to assist in tragedies like Hurricane Harvey. Trucks can bring the necessary items that people need in times like this and they can do it quickly. They can deliver essential items needed right now, like clothing, food, water and supplies that are more important than money at that specific time. BlueGrace was proud to able to help those in need after receiving a call from a clothing supplier August 30th for just this type of relief project.

Supplier Jumps In With Clothing

This particular customer provides southern theme apparel for its distributors across the US.  They reached out to BlueGrace Logistics on August 30 to inform us that they had 45 pallets of overstock socks, shoes and shirts that they wanted to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. While they had the merchandise that Houston residents needed, they felt items would be best distributed by another party. Our team was able to support them by providing transportation to a non-profit specializing in charitable clothing – which was already set up to distribute to the neediest of Hurricane Harvey victims.

BlueGrace Team Steps Up

Within 20 minutes the request for multiple truckloads was processed, and shortly after the Full Truckloads (FTL’s) were scheduled. BlueGrace was able to utilize our close relationship with our carriers and cover all of the freight costs for the supplier. The first truckload was dispatched the following day and the second the day after. The Less Than Truckload (LTL) portion of the shipments were also taken care of, which included 33 more pallets of emergency items shipped to the non-profit for distribution.

Be Caring Of All Others

At BlueGrace we stand by our 5 Core Values, and Core Value #1 is Be Caring of All OthersWhen an opportunity to help others arises, especially when it is something we specialize in like Truckload and LTL transportation, there’s never a hesitation to jump at the chance to assist in any way possible. Shortly after Hurricane Harvey, our own team at BlueGrace Headquarters in Tampa was effected by Hurricane Irma. We felt the support from so many carriers, vendors, partners and employees this week and we truly appreciate it as we help get Florida back on its feet.

For everyone in Houston, we are here to assist you through these tough times and will continue to help both locally and nationally when we are called on to do so. 

 

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All Hands on Deck for 2017 Backpacks of Hope

Back to School Can Stir Up Many Emotions

A new school year can bring about many emotions. For parents with kids entering kindergarten or their senior year of high school, the first day of school tends to be showcased on social media as a happy and exciting time. What you may not see though, are the extra hours a parent had to put in at work to get their kid a new backpack, or that the youngest of 4 kids is using her oldest sister’s school supplies from last year because the parents couldn’t afford to get all new ones.

Fresh Start for Kids Each Year

What is supposed to be a fresh start to a new year, can mean stress to their families. For this reason, BlueGrace Logistics has partnered with Metropolitan Ministries for the last 6 years, to collect school supplies for “Backpacks of Hope.”

The average cost of school supplies exceeds $600

The average spend on school supplies exceeds $600 and this expenditure can be a huge struggle for many families, and BlueGrace Logistics wants to help in our communities.

It’s All About the Kids

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “In 2015, approximately 14.7 million children under age 18 were in families living in poverty.”

BlueGrace Logistics has regional offices in Boston, Baltimore, Richmond, L.A. and Chicago with additional branch offices scattered throughout the United States. Most BG offices seek out local charities and generate fundraisers around their specific initiatives.

BlueGrace Chicago has partnered with the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center to raise school supplies for children.

“Our donations only help a fraction of the kids in need throughout the world, but we find hope in the fact that if enough people or organizations like ours, are willing to work together for such a great cause, that number can become much larger,” said Joannah Kalisz, Account Executive, BlueGrace Chicago.

Metropolitan Ministries

Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa Bay, provides backpacks, uniforms, and school supplies to more than 250 children in their care and more than 2,200 in the community at large. All donations help ensure that every child is prepared for the school year.

A backpack carries more than just school supplies.

“Drives like this with Metropolitan Ministries, mean so much to our organization as we have a huge place in our hearts for children and want to make a difference in their lives. Most of our efforts throughout the year focus around children and animals because they are the most vulnerable and don’t always have a voice. said Whitney McKay, Marketing & Brand Manager.

See What BlueGrace has to Say about Backpacks Of Hope

Caring for All Others | It’s What We Do

Core Value number 1 at BlueGrace is Be Caring of All Others and Backpacks of Hope is just one of the many ways we can express that core value. We believe our people make the difference and we strive to create an environment where our employees truly feel like family and feel the urge to help others.

“We understand that when you’re excited about the company you work for and feel like you’re part of a purpose, you’ll inevitably be more fun to work with, loyal and highly effective in your role,” says Whitney McKay, Marketing & Brand Manager at BlueGrace. “Since day one of my six years at BlueGrace there’s been something organic and genuine about our culture. It doesn’t matter how much we grow, you just can’t get the same experience anywhere else.”

We strive to create an environment where our employees truly feel like family and feel the urge to help others.

“Giving back to the community gives us a purpose, it’s a huge part of who we are as an organization. Being caring is engrained in our company culture,” said Courtney Smith, Culture & Engagement Manager at BlueGrace Logistics. “It’s easy to keep the culture alive when you have a core foundation like Bobby has created.” 

Do you want to help?

If you feel the desire to help, no matter how small, please reach out to the organizations below to donate your time, money or supplies.

Metropolitan Ministries – Outreach Center

Tampa, Florida
2301 North Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33602

813.209.1200

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center

1240 S. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608
312.492.3700

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BlueGrace Logistics Employees Raise Over $11,000 for Moffitt Cancer Center

Cancer SUCKS

Cancer is a nasty word and yet you hear it or see it every day. Your friends, family and acquaintances have all been affected by this word in some way, shape, or form. In 2017, almost 1.7 million new cases of cancer are projected. We need to find a cure for this awful disease and this is why organizations like Moffitt Cancer Center exist.

Their mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer! 

The Moffitt Cancer Center provides Tampa with opportunities to fundraise for cancer research and BlueGrace Logistics is no stranger to fundraising and charitable events. Especially if there is a race involved.

“It’s a huge part of who we are as an organization. Fundraising and participating in events like these, are engrained in our company culture,” said Courtney Smith, Manager of Culture and Engagement at BlueGrace Logistics.

This is the 3rd year BlueGrace has participated in M4M.

Since 2006, the annual Miles for Moffitt event has been a great way for the Tampa community, and friends from all over the country, to come together for fun, fitness, and to support lifesaving cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center.

“Every dollar ever raised through registration fees and donations — more than $3.2 million so far! — has gone directly to empower our scientists and researchers to do the work that is uncovering cancer’s secrets, developing new and more effective treatments, and bringing closer the day when cancer is no longer a diagnosis to be feared.” said a Moffitt Cancer Center Rep.

So How did BlueGrace Raise the Money?

Now, BlueGrace isn’t your typical company so we don’t do your “typical fundraising”. Our fundraising efforts don’t begin and end with a bake sale.

Our fundraising efforts don’t begin and end with a bake sale.

“We do this thing called the Executive Drag Contest, where money is donated to 6 executives and the top 3 with the most money raised, dress up in drag the day before the race.” said Smith. “It’s really a sight to see and everyone gets into it.”

Along with drag contests and bake sales the company participated in Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s in Ybor, multiple raffles throughout the office, a rap battle contest in our customer support division, and corn hole tournaments in the company break room.

“We even raffled off an Office Space Printer Beatdown, where the winner could literally take the printer outside and beat it with a bat!” said Smith. “We really love to make it fun.”

The employees came through in a big way and smashed that goal with a total amount of $11,087 raised.

BlueGrace Logistics came in as a $10,000 sponsor for the 2017 Miles for Moffitt race and employees were challenged to match that donation. The employees came through in a big way and smashed that goal with a total amount of $11,087 raised.

If you want to volunteer or donate to Moffitt Cancer Center, there are plenty of local opportunities. Let’s help them see their vision through by transforming cancer care through service, science and partnership. 

 

 

 

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Cats and Dogs Benefit from BlueGrace Food Drive

Each year, BlueGrace Logistics female (cats) and male (dogs) employees compete against one another to see who can collect the most pet food in pounds. Throughout the years, BlueGrace has collected tens of thousands of lbs. of food to feed the animals of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, one of our partner charities, through this drive. With the amount of growth that BlueGrace has experienced over the last 18 months, this contest was extended to all BlueGrace offices and as a result, will benefit several more animal shelters.

The drive divides the men and women in the office and allows them to compete as two teams to collect as much pet food as possible.

The drive divides the men and women in the office and allows them to compete as two teams to collect as much pet food as possible. While the winning team receives bragging rights for the next year, the real winners are the animals in the shelters who so desperately need the donations. The drive culminates with an adoption event in the office in Tampa, where 8-10 adoptable dogs and cats are brought in by the HSTB and employees and their families have an opportunity to take a new family member home.

The drive culminates with an adoption event in the office in Tampa.

“While the competition aspect of the drive is fun for our employees, what’s important is providing as much food for the animals as we can to these organizations,” explains Courtney Smith, Manager of Culture & Engagement for BlueGrace. “With the growth and expansion we have seen in our company over the last fifteen months, it was incredible to see the reach and impact across the country.”

The Dogs Claim First Victory in 4 Years

The competition has been a tight race every year, but the DOGS of BlueGrace came out ahead with just under 13,000 lbs in food for the Tampa office!

“It was ruff, but we finally beat the cats!” said Steve Wolfe, Certified Partner Development Manager at BlueGrace Logistics and Cats vs Dogs Team Captain.

Company’s Core Values Mean Something

BlueGrace Logistics has 5 core values proudly displayed throughout the offices all around the country. The first core value is “Be Caring of All Others,” which is exhibited not only within the office walls, but in the local communities as well.

BlueGrace Core Values

This is probably our most called upon core value. At BlueGrace Logistics, it is essential in our hiring process that we find empathy in our candidates. Whether an employee is working in sales or customer support, it is imperative to a business’ success that the people answering the phones and talking with prospects and customers, have some sort of empathetic trait.

Our team not only cares about each other and the community, we care for our carriers, vendors, clients and partners. We work best with those who have compassion for others and truly show it.

 

Caring for Others and Caring for the Animals

This year was another successful drive, with BlueGrace collecting over 27,500 lbs of pet food as an organization. BlueGrace headquarters donated 22,674 lbs to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. BlueGrace Chicago donated 3,475 lbs of pet food to the Animal Rescue Foundation of Illinois. BG Baltimore donated 500 lbs to the Humane Society of Harford County in Fallston, MD. BG Richmond donated 200 lbs to the Richmond SPCA. BG Boston raised a total of $732 and was able to purchase pet supplies from the MSPCA-Angell Wish List.

“A philanthropic spirit is a vital component of any BlueGrace employee, and drives such as these provide our employees with the opportunity to help our communities in a fun and impactful way,” Mercedes Essmann, Director of Recruiting at BlueGrace mentions. “Seeing the adoptables go home to loving families at the end just adds a whole other level of pride and satisfaction to the event.”

 

 

 

 

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Be Caring of Others

CV2

 Core Value #2.

Be Caring of Others – Mean People Suck, and They Don’t Work Here.

Empathy:  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

This is probably our most called upon core value. At BlueGrace Logistics, it is essential in our hiring process that we find empathy in our candidates. Whether an employee is working in sales or customer support, it is imperative to a business’ success that the people answering the phones and talking with prospects and customers, have some sort of empathetic trait.

Our team not only cares about eachother, we care for our carriers, vendors, clients and partners. We work best with those who have compassion for others and truly show it.

How We Show That We Care…

Tampa Bay Humane Society | Cats vs. Dogs – September 2015

petfooddrive

Each year, BlueGrace Logistics female (cats) and male (dogs) employees compete against each other to collect the most pet food in pounds. The food is then donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to care for the animals in the no-kill shelter. The food not only feeds the animals that call the shelter home, but is also used for their food assistance program Animeals.” The “Animeals” program partners with “Meals on Wheels” of Tampa to deliver free pet food once a month to homebound and elderly residents on a fixed income in Hillsborough County.

Miles for Moffit | Run to Beat Cancer – May 2016

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“It’s a huge part of who we are as an organization. Fundraising and participating in events like these, are engrained in our company culture,” said Courtney Smith, Manager of Culture & Engagment at BlueGrace Logistics.

BlueGrace Logistics Corporate may have sponsored the event, but what the employees did on their own was substantial and nothing short of amazing. Through small fundraising events in the office and making pledges through the Miles For Moffitt website, the company as a whole raised a total of $19,159.

Caring for Others | It’s What We Do

At BlueGrace Logistics one of our core beliefs is, our people make the difference. As such, we strive to create an environment where our employees truly feel like family. We believe that people who are happy and excited about the company they work for are more fun to work with, loyal and are ultimately more effective in their roles. We fully encourage all employees to give back to their community in some sort of way.

BlueGrace Logistics is continuing to fill multiple positions at our corporate office in Tampa, as well as our outside offices across the country. If you feel that you fit our core values, apply for a job with BlueGrace TODAY!

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BlueGrace Logistics Participates and Sponsors Miles for Moffitt – Run to Beat Cancer 2016

POST -Miles for Moffitt Blog

Cancer sucks. There is no other way to put it. According to an article from cancer.gov, in 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease. The statistics about this disease are staggering, but it’s events like ‘Miles for Moffitt’ that will contribute to prevention, treatment and the cure of cancer through fundraising.

This is the 2nd year that BlueGrace Logistics participated in and sponsored the Miles for Moffitt – Run to Beat Cancer.

“It’s a huge part of who we are as an organization. Fundraising and participating in events like these, are engrained in our company culture,” said Courtney Smith, BlueGrace Franchise Support Manager and Culture Club member.

BlueGrace Logistics Corporate may have sponsored the event, but what the employees did on their own was substantial and nothing short of amazing. Through small fundraising events in the office and making pledges through the Miles For Moffitt website, the company as a whole raised a total of $19,159.

“We had great participation with a bake sale and a “Pie in the Face” fundraiser, but we were able to generate the most money through the website pledges!” said Mercedes Essmann, Director of Corporate Recruiting at BlueGrace Logistics.

BlueGrace Logistics is proud to be able to give back to the community, whether it be through local projectscharity events or our annual Cats Vs. Dog pet food drive.

At BlueGrace Logistics one of our core beliefs is our people make the difference. As such, we strive to create an environment where our employees truly feel like family. We believe that people who are happy and excited about the company they work for are more fun to work with, loyal and are ultimately more effective in their roles. We fully encourage all employees to give back to their community in some sort of way.

 

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Lillie’s Q BBQ Supports Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon With A Little Help From BlueGrace

Lillies_logoLillie’s Q, based out of Chicago, IL, is an award winning BBQ restaurant that also specializes in BBQ sauces sold around the world (purchase here –> http://www.lilliesq.com). Lillie’s Q also puts their charitable initiatives at the fore front of their business, and they wanted to satisfy some cravings through the Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon (http://www.adoptasoldierplatoon.org). Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon improves morale of the Troops and takes care of wounded heroes after their transition to civilian life. AaSP provides “Care Cartons” to troops, amongst many other supplies. These boxes are filled with healthy snacks, personal care items, and entertainment amenities that are sent every week. Lillie’s Q saw the opportunity to help by sending their delicious BBQ sauces to the troops to enjoy a little bit of home cooked flavor at their next meal away from home. These Kings of BBQ also happen to be one of BlueGrace’s amazing customers!

Giving back to our community is not only something we enjoy, it’s somewhere we can make a massive impact, given the resources we have access to.  BlueGrace gives back through volunteering, fundraising, drives & sponsorships- working directly with the Humane Society, Moffitt Cancer Center and Metropolitan Ministries throughout the year. What we find even more interesting is how our customers give back and how we can help with the logistics of their generosity!

“We rely on BlueGrace for our current freight, so when we mentioned that we needed to get our sauce to the Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon people quickly, Scott was able to ship it at cost without any hesitation.” said Nina Cantamessa of Lillie’s Q.

“I am happy that I am able to help our troops even if it is only in this small way.” Says Scott Collack of BlueGrace Logistics. “So much of our time is spent looking for cost savings and scheduling that we don’t see how the freight we help ship may effect others, and this time it should help troops better enjoy their time away from home.”

We wanted to send a special shoutout to Lillie’s Q, we’re proud of your generosity and thankful to assist in your logistics needs for such a worthy cause.

For more information on Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon and how they help our Troops click the image below:

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BlueGrace Baltimore Celebrates The Season With Successful Adopt A Family Program

bluegraceBaltimore-Adopt_A_Family_2015

BlueGrace dedicates a significant amount of time over the holiday season working on charitable initiatives, and our Baltimore office is no exception.  The Adopt A Family Program is a program where BlueGrace employees help adopt a family in need by providing nonperishable food and a frozen turkey or canned ham for Christmas dinner, along with new gifts for each family member. Sister Parish, Immaculate Conception provided lists of needy families to select from and the BlueGrace Baltimore team stepped into action gathering the needed items for them.

Over 150 Cathedral Families and Friends, including BlueGrace provided Christmas dinner and gifts to 116 Families (640 people) and donated over $7000 in cash and gift cards.

Sister Parish, Immaculate Conception provided the following statement the success of the program:

“Adopt A Family Thanks You!  Another spectacular Christmas season of giving has wrapped up for our Sister Parish, Immaculate Conception.  Over 150 Cathedral Families and Friends provided Christmas dinner and gifts to 116 Families (640 people) and donated over $7000 in cash and gift cards for outreach to the Immaculate Conception Community in an extraordinary show of true Christmas Spirit in service to the poor among us.  This awesome display of generosity and solidarity is what this season is all about.  

As we begin the Church Year of Mercy, I can’t help but feel that you are already aware of the Pope’s message and are dedicated to living it through your actions.

Thank you so much for supporting this program and a special thank you to Troop 1000 for acting as our elves in providing the delivery to Immaculate Conception. “

We are very proud  of the BlueGrace Baltimore team and their generous efforts to help the Baltimore community. We encourage all to take the time to think about those that are less fortunate during the holiday season and help out in anyway you can.

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop

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Tampa Bay Lightning Announce Partnership with BlueGrace Logistics

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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RIVERVIEW, FL – November 30, 2015 – The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced a new partnership with BlueGrace Logistics, a national freight shipping company based in Tampa. The three-year agreement names BlueGrace as “The Preferred Shipping Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning”.
 
“Since Jeff Vinik purchased the franchise in 2010, we have looked to align ourselves with world-class brands that share our vision and values on and off the ice, and BlueGrace fully embodies that,” said Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. “BlueGrace’s community involvement and commitment to Tampa Bay is aligned with our mission and we look forward to our partnership with them.”
 
The Lightning will team up with BlueGrace for one community outreach event per year over at least the next three seasons. BlueGrace will also be one of the Lightning’s sponsors for their annual Bolt Run. The partnership also includes arena-wide signage and in-game features at Lightning home games.
 
“It’s a natural fit for us to partner with a world-class organization like the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Bobby Harris, CEO and founder of BlueGrace Logistics. “This partnership enables us to team up with the Lightning on charitable initiatives, increase our local visibility and expand our national brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship and years of success with the Tampa Bay Lightning.”

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About BlueGrace Logistics:
 
Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is the fastest growing leader of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S.
 
About Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC:
 
Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC is an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik and its holdings include the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm and the leasehold rights to the newly named Amalie Arena, the 19,092-seat downtown Tampa home in which the teams play their games. Vinik purchased the Lightning and the leasehold rights to the arena in March 2010 and has since led a complete brand and business transformation, establishing the company as one of the leading sports and entertainment entities in the United States.

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BlueGrace Logistics Donates 52,000 Pounds Of Pet Food To The Humane Society Of Tampa Bay

The “Cats Vs. Dogs” Drive Competition Sets Another Record in 2015

TAMPA, FL, Oct. 15, 2015  BlueGrace Logistics’ annual “Cats vs. Dogs” Pet Food Drive Competition benefiting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay came to a close on Friday, October 9th and another record was broken. BlueGrace collected 52,000 pounds of pet food – 8,000 pounds more than last years total of 44,000 pounds. The amount of food donated will be enough to care for the animals for up to a year. Since the contest’s inception in 2010, BlueGrace has donated over 130,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society Tampa Bay. This year, Team Cats took the contest victory for the third year in a row!

petfooddrive

About Cats Vs. Dogs

Each year, BlueGrace Logistics female (cats) and male (dogs) employees compete against each other to collect the most pet food in pounds. The food is then donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to care for the animals in the no-kill shelter. The food not only feeds the animals that call the shelter home, but is also used for their food assistance program Animeals.” The “Animeals” program partners with “Meals on Wheels” of Tampa to deliver free pet food once a month to homebound and elderly residents on a fixed income in Hillsborough County.

BlueGrace & The Humane Society of Tampa Bay were featured on ABC Action News’ The Now Tampa Bay which featured live coverage of an initial 35,000 pound delivery of pet food and a ride-along to an Animeals delivery. BlueGrace was also honored as a Hometown Hero on Fox13 News’ Good Day Tampa Bay.

A number of businesses and organizations donated necessary resources such as pet food, money, transportation services and much more to make this incredible donation possible. BlueGrace would like to thank Southeastern Freight Lines, YRC WorldwideFeeding America Tampa Bay, Sam’s Club of Brandon, Costco- Brandon Warehouse, Southside Feed Store of Plant City, MST HR Solutions, Shingle Masters Roofing & Construction, Gulf Coast Custom Cable, Crossroads Ace Hardware Feed & Pet Supply, Seaboard Cold Storage of Tampa, BlueGrace ORD, BlueGrace Plymouth, & BlueGrace Tampa East/ ReedTMS Logistics.

About BlueGrace Logistics

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics offers complete, customized transportation management solutions to customers across the United States. Based in Riverview, Fla. with satellite offices in Chicago, Baltimore and Salt Lake City. BlueGrace is known as the fastest-growing logistics company in the nation, with more than 7,000% revenue “hyper-growth” since inception. BlueGrace Logistics launched its franchise program in early 2011 as part of its strategic growth plan and currently has 57 franchisees across the U.S. The company offers freight services such as Less Than Truckload (LTL), Truckload Services (TL), International and Domestic Air Freight, Ocean Freight, Supply Chain Management, State-of-the-Art Technology; Service Desk Support, and Auditing Services. Fore more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

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5th Annual Cats vs. Dogs Contest

BlueGrace Logistics holds Fifth Annual Cats vs. Dogs Pet Food Drive Benefiting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay


2015_COMMUNITY_CATSVSDOGS 2RIVERVIEW, Fla. – September 10, 2015: Each year BlueGrace holds their official “Cats vs. Dogs” contest amongst its employees. The contest is a pet food drive in which the women compete against the men to collect the most pet food in pounds. The food is then donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to care for the animals in the no-kill shelter.

In 2014, BlueGrace donated more than 44,000 pounds of pet food which was enough to feed the animals for almost an entire year. Since the contest’s inception in 2010, BlueGrace has donated over 80,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society Tampa Bay. Each year, BlueGrace plans to surpass last year’s amount. Employees come together to donate pet food, as well as leverage contacts to purchase large amounts of food. The contest will run through the middle of October.

BlueGrace Logistics takes pride in giving back to the community through our “Giving Grace” Program created by our President and CEO, Bobby Harris. Our Giving Grace charity of choice is the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and we support the organization in many ways throughout the year. Most recently, BlueGrace employees volunteered for Humane Society Tampa Bay during Creative Loafing’s BeerFest event at MOSI. A percentage of the event’s proceeds went to support the animal shelter.

Want to contribute to the 2015 Cats vs. Dogs Competition and Pet Food Drive? 

The public is invited to participate in the Cats vs. Dogs contest. For information or to donate large amounts (such as a pallet of pet food) contact BlueGrace Logistics at community@mybluegrace.comPlease be sure to specify if you’d like to contribute to the “TeamCats” (girls) or “TeamDogs,” (guys) if applicable. 

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National Dog Day 2015

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Happy National Dog Day

An Announcement Regarding BG Cats v. Dogs

Every year BlueGrace Logistics holds a Cats. vs. Dogs pet food donation rally. It is girls vs. guys and all in good fun. The real winners at the end is the animals. Last year as a company we donated over 44k pounds of pet food to the humane society of Tampa Bay. You can read about it here:

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

The twitter has tag to the follow the smack talk is #catsvsdogs15

The contest runs from 8-17 through 9-28.

If you or anyone you know would like to contribute please feel free to reach out to us at 800-697-4477

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BlueGrace Is A Gold Sponsor For The 10th Annual Race Against Cancer

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BlueGrace Logistics is the Gold Sponsor of the 10th Annual Miles for Moffitt race on Saturday, May 9 to be held at the University of South Florida. The company has donated $10,000 as part of their sponsorship and has aggressive goals to raise even more money through fundraising efforts. BlueGrace has created a team to participate in the various events held at Miles for Moffitt where they will be encouraging 100% of their staff to participate. The company’s award-winning culture will be promoting the event to increase awareness of Moffitt Cancer Center’s initiatives internally and with the public on social media (Twitter: @mybluegrace, Facebook: /bluegracelogistics).

“Moffitt Cancer Center is one of, if not, the best cancer treatment center in the country. We are so happy to be supporting one of the most recognized and respected organizations in our home town,” says Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics.

Since the first race in 2006, Miles for Moffitt has raised over $2 million for cancer research programs. BlueGrace has launched an internal “Couch to 5K” program to help train and assist participating employees for the upcoming race.

BlueGrace prides itself on community involvement and is always looking for new ways to make a difference. By sponsoring “Miles for Moffitt,” they have added a new institution and charity for their “Giving Grace” program.

To visit our company page or to sign up click here

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BlueGrace Baltimore Holds “Back to School Drive” for Perry Hall Elementary

On Thursday, August 21, 2014 BlueGrace Baltimore donated school supplies to Perry Hall Elementary. Perry Hall Elementary is a small school built in 1956 with about 700 students enrolled. Donna Bergin is the Principal for the elementary school where it’s the Home of the Gaters football team. BlueGrace Baltimore office with the help of Staples raised about 100 lbs of school supplies to donate to Perry Hall Elementary. Amanda Dudley – a 3rd grade teacher greeted Michelle Welk and Margaret Zarzecki who hand delivered the supplies to the school’s lobby.

“It was so cool. When we got there the principal (Bergin) made an announcement,” said Welk.

“Everyone please welcome BlueGrace that are delivering school supplies, went over the entire school.” -read the announcement from Principal Bergin

Teachers and students greeted the Welk and Zarzecki in the lobby.

“Everyone looked so surprised and appreciative for the supplies,” said Zarzecki.

Dudley received her own bag of supplies to keep in her room for students to use throughout the year.

The personal book bags were given to Kathy Cooney (Student Counselor) to give to students personally as gifts. BlueGrace Baltimore is proud to come together on behalf of our Giving Grace Charity program and make this outstanding donation. We just want to say how much we enjoyed being involved in this Back to School Drive and the happiness it brought to us today when we saw the amazement on the faces of the school staff.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” – On behalf of BlueGrace Baltimore.

Michelle Welk and Margaret Zarzecki dropping off their donations at Perry Hall Elementary
Michelle Welk and Margaret Zarzecki dropping off their donations at Perry Hall Elementary

 

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Why the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Means So Much – Written by Tiffanie Bungarz

 

Imagine one day, while living your life, completely happy and healthy, you start noticing some changes with your body. You start noticing your hands are weakening and you have random muscle twitching. You don’t think much of it but decide to see a doctor. After months of testing and visits to a specialist, you are told you have ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Your immediate thought is AL, what? At that point you don’t even realize the severity of the disease because you never really heard much about it. It doesn’t take long for both you and your family to read up and learn that this is one of the most devastating diagnoses you could ever receive. ALS is an immediate death sentence.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what my family was faced with back in 2012. My stepfather was diagnosed with ALS at the young age of 55. While statistics show the average life expectancy of a person with ALS is 2 to 5 years after diagnoses, we were only given 10 months with him. In those 10 months we suffered with him as we watched him lose his ability to walk, talk, eat, and move. He was fed through a feeding tube and required a BiPap breathing machine at night. During this time family and friends who were once there are not coming around as much. They don’t know what to say or how to act as they are grieving already. As his condition worsened, the BiPap machine could not keep up. It was his wish to not to be put on a ventilator which is a hard decision every ALS patient and their family need to make. He lost his battle on December 9, 2012.

Currently, there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ALS, which only modestly extends survival by two to three months. Consequently, ALS is 100 percent fatal. In addition to acclimating to the challenges that come with losing control of voluntary muscle movement, people with the disease progressively lose their ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe. It is like being buried alive while being completely aware of your fate. ALS does not discriminate and affects people of all races, gender and age.

Prior to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, The ALS Association struggled to collect donations which are needed to fund research. The pharmaceutical companies are not as involved with ALS research since the disease is not an easy money maker. ALS is not as common as other diseases like cancer and people really don’t talk about ALS. Like our family, when you lose a loved one, you feel defeated, like being a lonely soldier in a war against the world. Seeing the attention brought to ALS is extremely uplifting for those of us who’ve suffered loss from ALS or are currently fighting. Whether you have the means to donate or you just spread the message with a happy video of ice water dumping on your head… it is appreciated and it is helping in so many ways! For more info visit www.alsa.org

Tiffanie Bungarz

 

July 2009, symptom free
July 2009, symptom free
June 2012 at the ‘Walk to Defeat ALS fundraiser, 6 months before passing away
June 2012 at the ‘Walk to Defeat ALS fundraiser, 6 months before passing away

 

 

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“Backpacks of Hope” 2014 With BlueGrace A Success!

BlueGrace is extremely proud that the 2014 “Backpacks of Hope” drive was once again a true success! Through the month of July, we collected over 550 school supplies and backpacks which were donated to the Metropolitan Ministries. The annual drive provides kids with all new school supplies just in time for them to go back to school! On the last day of the drive, BlueGrace employees were encouraged to break out their nerd gear to celebrate the final day of the charitable drive! “Backpacks of Hope” is one of three annual drives hosted by BlueGrace. Our employees have a strong sense of pride for the company and are always looking for ways to give back to the community via the Giving Grace Program, implemented by President and CEO, Bobby Harris.

One surprise that greatly contributed to this year’s drive was the donation of 17 completely filled backpacks to BlueGrace by Images Hair Salon (www.imageshairsalon.net, located at 3967 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, FL 33629). The effort was led by Jamie Goldfarb, Images Hair Salon Stylist.

BlueGrace is looking forward to the 2015 “Backpacks of Hope” drive, and hopes to surpass the number of items collected and to continue to bring joy to the lives of many more kids!

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BlueGrace holds 4th Annual “Backpacks of Hope” School Drive

Backpacks of Hope 2013-

 

Every year in the month of July, BlueGrace Logistics hosts a “Backpacks of Hope” drive for one of our biggest charities, Metropolitan Ministries. This school drive benefits local children who are in need of school supplies to start the new school year. For BlueGrace, the main contributors of this drive are the employees, so this presents a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and help make a difference. From the success of multiple efforts from businesses in the local area last year, the donations provided supplies to 5,000 children. Metropolitan Ministries is aiming to grow the number of donations by doubling this year! BlueGrace is honored to be partnered with this community charity, as we love to be able give back to the local community. Our company hosts 3 annual drives and offers volunteer opportunities for our staff through our partnership with the charity. In the last 4 years BlueGrace has nearly doubled our donation count for “Backpacks of Hope” drive, and the employees are already ramping up to do so again this year.

“BlueGrace Logistics has a special place in our hearts for animals and that’s no secret, but our community is what keeps us going. Metropolitan Ministries is our community charity of choice because they serve our LOCAL communities in need. We’ve built a strong company culture around a family and community foundation, and giving back aligns with our Core Values. BlueGrace has had ties back to its corporate location in Tampa since the inception of the company, and we’re committed to giving back. That’s why we created our charity program, Giving Grace, which encourages and rewards our employees to give back. A BlueGrace employee is a special breed of individual, and being selfless is a very common character trait amongst them all,” says Whitney McKay, Producer of Culture and Community.

If you are interested in making a donation and helping BlueGrace make a difference, you may drop off your supplies at 2846 S Falkenburg Rd, Riverview FL, 33578.

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Up in ARM’s for BlueGrace South Jersey

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Sometimes, you just need to take things into your own hands if you want something done right. That’s what BlueGrace Franchise Owner, Jason Eckhardt and his wife Sherri did five years ago when they decided to create a charity that in their eyes would truly make a difference for the betterment of breast cancer survivors and research. In 2009, Jason Eckhardt came up with an idea that would support his wife Sherri in a way she never imagined.

In 1983, Sherri’s mother, Arlene Ruccio Meyer passed away from breast cancer. It was only 2 days after her 35th birthday and 3 days before Christmas. Sherri was only 5-years old and didn’t understand the impact her mother’s death would have on her life until she reached adulthood. Her mother was diagnosed in 1981 and doctors told her she only had two months to live. After undergoing treatment and much to her surprise, she was able to spend another 2 years with her family. Little did she know her future son-in-law would come up with an idea that would benefit families who were faced with her tragic circumstance, all the while supporting of her daughter… his wife, Sherri.

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“You don’t understand the loss as a kid. It means so much more to me (having my mother around) now that I’m a mother,” says Sherri Eckhardt.

On the 25th anniversary of Arlene’s passing, Jason wanted to go above and beyond for the purpose of remembering his wife’s late mother. As he was contemplating his master plan, he came up with “ARM’s Away.” He took this idea to the golf course in the form of a charitable event using “ARM’s” as an acronym representing the initials of Arlene’s full name. In addition, they created their own acronym that would give the charity a global meaning: Awareness. Research. Making a Difference.

When he first presented it to Sherri they had no idea just how successful this would become. The first year of ARM’s Away was raising $5,000 and they exceeded their expectations by raising $7,500. Each year they set goals to raise money and each year they surpass them. Just last year, the Eckhardt’s set a goal to raise $15,000 at the 5th Annual ARM’s Away Golf Outing and they raised over $17,000! To date, Jason and Sherri have raised over $68,000 and have gained the support of businesses, individuals and families from all over the state of New Jersey. But their biggest-little supporters live with them… they are their kids.

Today, Sherri is a mother of two beautiful children (son, Austin, 6; daughter, Kylie, 3) who don’t quite comprehend what a charity stands for or means for that matter. All they know is that it’s for Grandma and that ARM’s Away helps people get better. That alone encourages them to give to the greater good of breast cancer research. They are active participants and donate to ARM’s Away themselves. Last year, their 6 year-old sons Austin, earned tips for work he had done during the event and on his own took every penny to the event’s donation center because “he wanted to make a difference too.”

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All proceeds raised at the event are donated to the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Rutgers uses the donations for two very powerful reasons: to enhance the technology used in treatment and to support patients who need assistance to be treated themselves. The center unites scientists from several disciplines to focus on the causes, detection, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer. Today, you can visit Rutgers University and see a Wall of Remembrance, which recognizes the years of donations ARM’s Away has provided to their initiatives. BlueGrace is proud to be a sponsor of this great event and hopes that this year they can once again surpass their goals.

“My husband (Jason Eckhardt) and my Dad should win the MEN OF THE YEAR award because of all they’ve done to help bring this charity to fruition. Without their help, support and guidance it would never be possible,” says Sherri Eckhardt.

To donate to the ARM’s Away charity, please visit: http://cinjfoundation.donordrive.com/event/ARMSAWAY2014

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