Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida Announces Continued Support to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
Funds Donated to Authorized Educational Charities in Lieu of a Share of Company’s Florida State Excise Taxes

Miami, Florida, July 31, 2011 – Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida is pleased to announce its continued support of the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, an initiative of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, created by the Florida Legislature in 2001.

Under the state-sponsored program, Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida plans to channel scholarship support to authorized educational charities in lieu of a share of its Florida state excise taxes. Overall, during 2010-11, the Step Up For Students program provided annual school tuition scholarships that served 34,688 students in private schools.

In 2011, Southern is committed to providing continued—and elevated—funding to Step Up For Students SFO, a state-approved scholarship funding organization, allowing the organization to provide over 2,418 scholarships to eligible recipients in grades K-12 in designated counties.

“Since our founding in 1968, Southern’s philosophy and culture are that people are our most valuable asset. In our enthusiastic and continuing support of this great statewide program, we hope to contribute to the education and future professional success of eligible children across the State of Florida,” said Wayne E. Chaplin, President & Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. He added, “It's our intent to apply $10 million to this program, focusing on a broad range of counties where Southern is active both in terms of employing residents and serving our customers.”

“More than 97 percent of the revenues that Step Up For Students receives go directly to scholarships for students who qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch,” says Step Up’s President, Doug Tuthill. “It is our goal to ensure that all families have equal access to the
K through12 learning options to effectively educate their children,” says Tuthill.

Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and its parent company, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, each has a long record of charitable support of important educational, community-based and medical research projects and programs in Florida and across the country.

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia—as well as the additional seven states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah through the Southern-Odom/Spirits West partnership. In addition, Southern has a presence in Maryland and the District of Columbia through a joint venture with F.P. Winner Wine & Spirits as well as a joint venture operation in Minnesota with J.J. Taylor Distributing Company. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 11,000 team members. For more information, see:

About Step Up For Students
Step Up For Students is an innovative initiative that allows companies with certain types of Florida tax liabilities to redirect a portion of those taxes to a state approved Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) that provides K-12 education scholarships for low-income children. Qualifying parents can use these scholarships to send their child to the public or private school that best meets their child's needs.

The typical scholarship student is an ethnic minority living with a struggling single parent/caregiver in a high crime community. The average household income of families accepted to receive scholarships is $26,504 for a family of four. Many children are either below grade level, failing at their previous school or both when they receive a scholarship. Parents, who find their children in these circumstances and care about their future, look for viable options. They seek an atmosphere that challenges and engages their child to reverse inappropriate learning and/or social patterns, and the lifelong negative impact they imply. They wish to change their child's learning environment, acquaintances, and the unfortunate predictable outcomes associated with school failure. For more information or to learn how your corporation can participate in the program, visit

Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2011 (Archive on Friday, September 02, 2011)
Posted by rsada  Contributed by rsada