By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Ruddell Auto Mall at 110 S. Golf Course Road in Port Angeles received an honorable mention in the state Secretary of State's 2012 Corporations for Communities Award program.
Ruddell Auto Mall was honored for its numerous fundraising and community-building events over the years, said Patrick Reed, operations manager for the Corporations and Charities Division of the Secretary of State's Office.
The auto mall is one of 10 small businesses across the state given an honorable mention for the Corporations for Communities Award, which honors companies working to improve their local communities through charity programs, Reed said.
Howie Ruddell, owner of Ruddell Auto Mall, said these charity events and efforts include fundraisers to support more than 50 local nonprofits and charities, traffic safety lessons held at the auto mall for children, an annual community Thanksgiving dinner and 100 percent participation from the mall's 40 employees in local United Way drives.
Ruddell said his employees as a group regularly donate just about $1,000 per month to the United Way.
“It's pretty fortunate to have some nice, great [employees] who believe in giving back,” Ruddell said.
“Not only do all the employees participate, but all the employees are pretty generous, too,” he said.
Car dealership has been a family business for three generations, with both Ruddell's father and grandfather involved, and Ruddell said his family always has made a point of giving back to the people with whom they live and work.
“Ruddell has been a name synonymous with community involvement since 1940,” Ruddell said.
Ruddell was pleased to hear that Jim's Pharmacy of Port Angeles won one of the two top awards in the state program.
Ruddell, who has known Jim's Pharmacy owner Joe Cammack since they were 12 years old, said Cammack is a generous and giving person.
“It doesn't surprise me at all that [Cammack] would be recognized as that,” Ruddell said.
Peninsula Daily News
The pharmacy at 424 E. Second St. has been named one of two recipients of the statewide 2012 Corporations for Communities Award from state Secretary of State Sam Reed.
Owner Joe Cammack said he was thrilled to learn the state is recognizing the work his pharmacy does to help the Port Angeles community — but added that the real rewards for such efforts are not awards or trophies.
“You don't do it for the recognition, but it's nice when you get it,” Cammack said.
The pharmacy is the smaller of two businesses honored this year for their work improving their communities through services such as fundraisers and other charity programs, said Patrick Reed, operations manager for the secretary of state's Corporations and Charities Division.
Sam Reed (who is no relation to Patrick Reed) will present the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award to Jim's Pharmacy and Tree Top Inc., a nationwide fruit-process company based in Selah, at a ceremony in his Olympia office at 2 p.m. Dec. 5.
The Secretary of State's Office picked Jim's Pharmacy for the small-business award from dozens of customer nominations received this year, Patrick Reed said.
The pharmacy's Free Vitamins for Kids program and the scholarships the pharmacy awards to local high school students especially stood out, he said.
“Being a small business in a relatively small community, they do quite a bit,” Patrick Reed said.
Jim's Pharmacy started the free vitamins program in 2009, Cammack said, after he got the idea from an association of pharmacies to which he belongs.
More than 3,100 bottles of chewable multivitamins have been distributed free of charge since that time, and Cammack estimates that the pharmacy has served between 600 and 700 children over the past three years.
Families of any financial situation can sign up for the program and get a month's supply of children's vitamins once per month for as long as they stay signed up, Cammack said.
“This is truly a no-strings-attached proposition,” he said.
“You come in and get some vitamins for your kids.”
In addition to the free vitamins program, Jim's Pharmacy also provides free diabetic and heart health programs, hosts various donation drives throughout the year as part of its “Charity of the Month” program and encourages its 34 staff members to participate in local nonprofits.
Learned in late summer
Cammack said he first learned the pharmacy had been nominated anonymously by a customer in late summer when the Secretary of State's Office called him for additional information on the pharmacy's charity efforts.
After being nominated for the Corporations for Communities award, Patrick Reed said, each business is asked to fill out a packet of information detailing its community service.
“It gives [the businesses] a chance to tell their story,” he said.
The secretary of state, with the help of staff members, then reviews the nominations and makes a decision, he added.
Cammack said he learned about a week ago that Jim's Pharmacy — opened by his parents, Jim and Barb Cammack, in 1983 — had won.
Part of community living
Cammack said he thinks helping others is just part of living and working in a relatively small community.
“I thought it was great to be recognized for what I call doing the right thing,” Cammack said.
“We as a community need to help each other out.”
For more information on Jim's Pharmacy, visit the business's website at http://bit.ly/TYFSYy or phone 360-452-4200.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.