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TMCNet:  Southern Wine & Spirits of America Directs $20 Million for Florida Scholarships

[November 14, 2012]

Southern Wine & Spirits of America Directs $20 Million for Florida Scholarships

MIAMI --(Business Wire)--

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern) announces its 2012 $20 million contribution to the Step Up for Students Scholarship Program. This tax redirection under the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program will fund nearly 4,500 primary and secondary school scholarships for economically disadvantaged Florida students during the 2012-13 school year. Southern's 2012 redirection marks the third year that the company has supported the Program.

The Company's top executive leaders visited Miami's La Progresiva Presbyterian School, a school that actively participates in the scholarship program, to announce Southern's 2012 contribution. Southern's President & Chief Operating Officer Wayne E. Chaplin - with his father and Southern Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Harvey R, Chaplin at his side - spoke with the students about the importance of education to future success. Echoing advice he had received in his youth from his father, Wayne Chaplin said to the students, "I encourage you all to study hard and continue your education to college and beyond - as far as your talents and drive take you." During the presentation, Southern Wine & Spirits also presented to the school a contribution of school supplies from its office supply partner, Staples (News - Alert).

"Southern Wine & Spirits enthusiastically supports Step Up for Students in its mission of providing Florida students with access to the education that best addresses their individual needs," added Harvey Chaplin. "With our continued support, we look forward to the future successes of the students who benefit from the program," he concluded.

Snce joining the Step Up for Students Scholarship Program in 2010, Southern has redirected a total of $35 million, funding over 8,000 scholarships.


The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program enables corporations with certain types of Florida corporate tax liabilities to redirect a portion of these qualifying taxes to Step Up for Students. Companies receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits for their redirection.

"We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Southern Wine & Spirits for their continued support of Step Up for Students," said Step Up for Students President Doug Tuthill. "Through our partnership, together we are changing the lives of thousands of children across Florida."

La Progresiva Presbyterian School is one of about 1,450 schools across the state that participates in the Step Up for Students Scholarship Program. Currently, there are 356 students who attend La Progresiva with assistance from Step Up for Students.

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: http://www.southernwine.com.

About Step Up for Students

Step Up for Students is the non-profit organization responsible for administering the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. The scholarship program is available to students who qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program and provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents' choice - or transportation help to an out-of-district public school. Scholarships are funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions. For more information, visit www.stepupforstudents.org.


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