community-outreach

Bowling for AutismColumbia, Missouri’s local news abc 17 KMIZ covered APRO’s own and MRDA President John Cleek, Jr. of Cleek’s Inc., dba Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership annual Bowling for Autism event.

abc 17 KMIZ reported the following: 

The 14th annual Bowling for Autism event was held Saturday at Town and Country Lanes in Columbia to raise money for a local nonprofit organization that provides services for families affected by the disorder.

All proceeds from the event, which also included a silent auction, go toward Easterseals Midwest.

John Cleek Jr., an event organizer who also has a son with autism, said the annual bowling event was expected to raise about $30,000 this year. Bowling for Autism has raised $330,000 since it began in 2003.

“I’m just very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over 14 years and hope to keep it going for many more years to come,” he said.

Easterseals Midwest also presented a $1,000 scholarship check for a participant who will be attending college in Missouri next semester.

Studies show 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States. Cleek said as the number of cases continue to grow so do the need for services.

“What they (Easterseals Midwest) do on a very limited budget is amazing,” he said. “This money just allows them to increase those services and buy additional equipment.”

April is Autism Awareness Month.

Click here to see the digital article along with a video of the event and interview with John Cleek, Jr.

Aaron's, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron's and Progressive Leasing, surprised teens on Wednesday with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati. As part of Aaron's three-year, $5 million partnership with Keystone, which inspires teens to "Own It" by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve, Aaron’s associates have remodeled 20 Keystone Teen Centers across the U.S. (PRNewsfoto/Aaron's, Inc.)

Aaron’s, Inc. and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, surprised teens on Wednesday with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati. As part of Aaron’s three-year, $5 million partnership with Keystone, which inspires teens to “Own It” by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve, Aaron’s associates have remodeled 20 Keystone Teen Centers across the U.S.

ATLANTA, April 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, surprised teens on Wednesday with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati.

Through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and input from the teen members, Aaron’s associates and Club officials worked on Monday painting, decorating and furnishing gaming, lounge and leadership programming spaces at the Club. On Wednesday, local Aaron’s associates and Club officials unveiled the new space, which is now equipped with new technology, sectionals, tables and chairs, sound systems and fresh coats of paint. Teens chose the special Sherwin-Williams™ paint colors for the room: Heartthrob, Serious Gray, Black Magic and Alabaster.

“The U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club provides a safe and encouraging space for Cincinnati teens to achieve their goals and own their futures,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “On our 20th Teen Center renovation, Aaron’s is proud to once again support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America by providing these teens with the resources and technology that will allow them to excel as leaders in their community.”

Keystone teen members of the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati were surprised on Wednesday when associates from Aaron's, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron's and Progressive Leasing, unveiled a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center. As part of Aaron's three-year, $5 million national partnership with Keystone, Aaron’s associates have remodeled 20 Keystone Teen Centers across the U.S. (PRNewsfoto/Aaron's, Inc.)

Keystone teen members of the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati were surprised on Wednesday when associates from Aaron’s, Inc. and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, unveiled a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center. As part of Aaron’s three-year, $5 million national partnership with Keystone, Aaron’s associates have remodeled 20 Keystone Teen Centers across the U.S.

Cincinnati Councilman Wendell Young attended the surprise unveiling and addressed the crowd. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has occupied a special place in my heart ever since I accepted my first job with the Club many years ago,” he said. “I grew up in Avondale and today, my wife and I still call this place home. Thanks to our community partners like Aaron’s, members of the U.S. Bank Club now have a well-equipped space that will inspire them to work hard and chase their dreams.”

In 2015, the Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. announced a three-year, $5 million national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Keystone Program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creating positive change in the community. Keystone Club teen centers provide members ages 14-18 an environment to plan and participate in activities that focus on community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.

The 19 previous Keystone Club makeovers have included Boys & Girls Clubs in cities such as Los Angeles, San Antonio, Nashville, Las Vegas, Chicago and Miami. The makeover at the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati includes an additional in-kind retail donation valued at $26,000.

“Teens who participate in Boys & Girls Club programs see improvements in grades and graduation rates, preparing them for greater success as young adults,” said Valarie Pollard, Club Director of the U.S. Bank Boys and Girls Club of Cincinnati. “With the support of Aaron’s, which has provided a state-of-the-art space for our club with new technology, furniture and appliances, our teens will learn and develop the skills that lead to successful futures.”

Aaron’s partnership with BGCA’s Keystone Program inspires teens to “Own It” by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve. The Aaron’s and Keystone Club “Own Your Future” campaign supports three principles:

  • Own Your Path:  No matter where you come from, the future is yours to decide.
  • Own Your Decisions:  Making good choices opens more doors for your future.
  • Own Your Community:  Use your talents to make an impact in your community.

To see photos of the Keystone Club remodel at the U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati, visit Aaron’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aaronsinc), on Twitter (www.twitter.com/AaronsInc) and at www.AaronsGives.com.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,850 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada as well as its e-commerce platform Aarons.com. In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 22,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit investor.aarons.com, Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at www.facebook.com/bgca.clubs and https://twitter.com/BGCA_Clubs.

Media Contact: Garet Hayes; garet.hayes@aarons.com; 678-402-3863

David David CASAAPRO’s second vice president David P. David of American Rental’s was recognized for the company’s support of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children in Monroe County. The recognition was covered by Bloomington Indiana’s local newspaper, The Herald-Times.

The article read as follows:

Kristin Bishay, executive director of Monroe County CASA, recently recognized David P. David of American Rental for the company’s continued support of CASA, including its presenting sponsorship of CASA’s annual gala, CASAblanca.

CASA staff, board and volunteers all give their sincerest thanks for American Rental’s support of children in Monroe County.

American Rental is at 1416 Liberty Drive in Bloomington. The company also has stores throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

CASA is the only volunteer organization that empowers everyday citizens as officers of the court. CASAs are community volunteers who are professionally trained to gather information about the child and his/her family, identify needs and possible services, speak on behalf of the child in court, monitoring court orders and case plans to make sure that the case is moving forward.

To become a CASA advocate, please visit www.monroecountycasa.org/volunteer-application to download an application, or call 812-333-CASA for more information. Our next training begins May 4.

The Herald-Times Media Contact:
Bob Zaltsberg
Editor
rzaltsberg@heraldt.com
1900 S. Walnut St.
Bloomington, IN
812-331-4364

Sealy St JudeRecently, Tempur Sealy International donated more than 500 Tempur-Pedic mattresses and foundations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The 11 truckloads of beds are now being put to good use at Tri Delta Place and Target House, housing facilities for families of children receiving treatment at St. Jude.

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital brings hope to so many families whose children are facing childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is our hope that these Tempur-Pedic beds provide needed rest, comfort and strength for those families,” said Scott Thompson, President, Chairman and CEO of Tempur Sealy International, Inc. “The reputation of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is known worldwide, and our team is truly honored to be able to assist such a wonderful organization in this way.”

ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, echoes that sentiment.

In 2016, Tempur Sealy donated more than 30,000 beds to charities, with a focus on children and families, military organizations and first responders. In 2017, the company will marks its 150,000th bed donation since 2011.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Media Contact:
Darren Peterson
Tempur+Sealy
Account Manager
(951) 378-2427

Associates from Aaron's, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron's and Progressive Leasing, unveiled the newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Las Vegas. Keystone is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier teen leadership program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creative positive change in their community. (Isaac Brekken/AP Images for Aaron's, Inc.)

Aaron’s, Inc. and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing surprised teens on Wednesday with this newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada. As part of Aaron’s three-year, $5 million partnership with Keystone, which inspires teens to “Own It” by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve, Aaron’s associates have remodeled 19 Keystone Teen Centers across the U.S.

Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, surprised teens on Wednesday with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada.

Through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and input from the teen members, Aaron’s associates and Club officials worked on Monday painting, decorating and furnishing a computer study room, game zone, and lounge area at the Club. On Wednesday, local Aaron’s associates and Club officials unveiled the new space, which is now equipped with new technology, sectionals, tables and chairs, sound systems and fresh coats of paint. Teens chose the special Sherwin-Williams™ paint colors for the rooms: Surfin Blue, Olympus White, Wishful Blue and Chalkboard Paint.

“Our 19th refresh in Las Vegas demonstrates Aaron’s continued commitment to helping teens across the country reach their full potential by providing the resources to allow them to grow as leaders in their communities,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “The Lied Clubhouse is vital for providing local teens a safe after-school space and we are certain this refresh will energize the club and attract more teen members who will become community leaders.”

Associates from Aaron's, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron's and Progressive Leasing, unveiled the newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Las Vegas. Keystone is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier teen leadership program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creative positive change in their community. (Isaac Brekken/AP Images for Aaron's, Inc.)

Keystone teen members of the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada were surprised on Wednesday when associates from Aaron’s, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, unveiled a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center in Las Vegas. As part of Aaron’s three-year, $5 million national partnership with Keystone, Aaron’s associates have remodeled 19 Keystone Teen Centers across the U.S.

In 2015, the Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. announced a three-year, $5 million national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Keystone Program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creating positive change in the community. Keystone Club teen centers provide members ages 14-18 an environment to plan and participate in activities that focus on community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.

The 18 previous Keystone Club makeovers have included Boys & Girls Clubs in cities such as Los Angeles, San Antonio, Nashville, Buffalo, Chicago and Miami. The makeover at the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada includes an additional in-kind retail donation valued at $28,000.

“Thanks to our partnership with Aaron’s, our community has an improved and updated space for teens, as well as a shining example of how giving back can make a big change,” said Tomarco Glasper, Clubhouse Director of the Lied Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada. “We were so excited to see our members’ jubilant reaction to the remodeled club and we know it will inspire teens to work even harder to become leaders and own their futures.”

Aaron’s partnership with BGCA’s Keystone Program inspires teens to “Own It” by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve. The Aaron’s and Keystone Club “Own Your Future” campaign supports three principles:

  • Own Your Path:  No matter where you come from, the future is yours to decide.
  • Own Your Decisions:  Making good choices opens more doors for your future.
  • Own Your Community:  Use your talents to make an impact in your community.

To see photos of the Keystone Club remodel at the Lied Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, visit Aaron’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aaronsinc), on Twitter (www.twitter.com/AaronsInc) and at www.AaronsGives.com.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,860 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada as well as its e-commerce platform Aarons.com. In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 22,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit investor.aarons.com, Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at www.facebook.com/bgca.clubs and https://twitter.com/BGCA_Clubs.

 

2017-03.15 WDC 154 family

Georgia resident Lula Jobir and her son receive the keys to their new Habitat Home from former NFL star Warrick Dunn, founder of Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC), as part of the Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) program.

Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, provided the home furnishings this week for a Surprise Home Presentation to Snellville, Georgia resident Lula Jobir and her son as part of Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) program sponsored by former NFL star Warrick Dunn and Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity.

“Aaron’s is excited to continue our meaningful partnership with Warrick Dunn Charities to help make a difference in single parents’ lives across the county,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “It’s clear that Lula has worked hard to achieve her dreams and we’re proud to contribute to her and her son’s bright futures by furnishing her new home with beds, furniture, electronics and appliances.”

Warrick Dunn Charities’ (WDC) Homes for the Holidays assists single parents in becoming first-time homeowners by providing the materials necessary for long-term stability and the provisions required to ensure that both parent and children can thrive educationally, socially and economically. To date, in partnership with Aaron’s and Habitat for Humanity affiliates, WDC and its sponsors have rewarded 154 single parents and over 400 children and dependents with the American Dream of first-time homeownership in 15 cities across the nation. This fall marks WDC’s 20th year in assisting single parents and their families through the Homes for the Holidays program.

1

This featured bedroom is one of the rooms that Aaron’s, Inc. filled with furniture, electronics and appliances in Georgia resident Lula Jobir’s new Habitat home. The home, filled with furniture, electronics and appliances from Aaron’s, Inc.

Lula Jobir arrived in the United States 16 years ago as an Ethiopian immigrant seeking asylum from the country’s harsh politics, gaining her U.S. citizenship in 2011. She is moving out of a two-bedroom apartment she lived in with her mother, sister and son, with whom she shared a room. She works as a certified animal care tech at Emory University.

“Our fundamental goal at Warrick Dunn Charities is to provide single parents with financial stability and, thanks to Aaron’s, these families are able to begin their new lives with homes full of furniture, electronics and appliances,” said Dunn. “I began this charity as a tribute to my mother’s dream of homeownership and Lula embodies that dream with her dedication and unwavering enthusiasm every time she talks about living in her family’s new beautiful home.”

Aaron’s has been a longtime supporter of WDC initiatives and began contributing home furnishings, appliances and electronics to the Homes for the Holidays program in 2003. Warrick Dunn Charities, founded by former NFL star Warrick Dunn, was registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2002.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,860 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada as well as its e-commerce platform Aarons.com. In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 22,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit investor.aarons.com, Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com.

About Warrick Dunn Charities
Warrick Dunn Charities provides hope and healing to communities through innovative programming inspired by our Founder’s life journey. Since 1997, the Homes for the Holidays program has awarded 154 single parents and over 400 children and dependents that have achieved first-time homeownership in Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, Baton Rouge, LA, Dallas, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Tallahassee and Tampa, FL Serving single-parent families nationwide, WDC and its partners have combated poverty, hunger and ensure families have basic necessities and comfortable surroundings to improve their quality of life. For more information, visit www.wdc.org.

YMCA kids and their new bedsThere they were, 80 beds, lined up in the gymnasium each perfectly outfitted with pillows, sheets and comforter. On March 4, 2017, 80 deserving area K-5 children and their families took part in a huge slumber party at the Sterling – Rock Falls, Illinois YMCA.  They played games, enjoyed great food, went swimming and watched a movie before falling asleep on a brand new bed.  At the end of the night they were told they get to keep the beds, too.  None of these children had a bed at home to sleep in, but now, thanks to Watershed Development Corporation and its local business and community partners they are in for some sweet slumber.

Watershed, which operates an Aaron’s franchise store in Sterling, the Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, Candlelight Inn, and the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, collaborated with schools in Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison, to identify deserving K-5 students without a bed.  Mike Ceruzzi, Sterling resident and Watershed vice president, stated, “this small idea has grown into a great collaboration with partners who understand there is a need in this community and are willing to take action to address it. “We are pleased and excited to be a part of it.”

YMCA partners

YMCA Partners L to R; Matt Prescott, Mike Ceruzzi, Kris Noble, Scott Wallingford, Andy Thornton.

Sunday morning the kids were treated to breakfast before they went home.  Then Watershed’s associates rallied its fleet of trucks and delivered the beds to their new homes. Casey Pristou, Watershed’s President related, “My son, Derek, and I delivered beds to a number of homes Sunday morning.  I realized just how special the effort was during our very first delivery.  As we approached the house we heard a young girl’s voice from inside screaming with excitement ‘mommy, mommy, my new bed is here!’”

“Beds might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of the basics some families need.

“Many times we can the take the simple things in life for granted,” YMCA CEO Andy Thornton said. “Something as simple as a bed with sheets and a blanket are easy to underappreciate. A project like this helps you evaluate your own life and the things that really matter.”  Ceruzzi added, “Without doubt this is among the most meaningful events we have ever done.  We are grateful for the opportunity to help.”

Click here to view more photos of the event.

About Watershed Development Corporation
Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa.  Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America.  Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception and has been recognized as Aaron’s 2016 Franchise of the Year.

prnewswire2-a.akamaihd

(L to R) Grammy and Oscar winner Common, Houston Keystone Teen Kivin Gant; Washington, D.C. Keystone Teen Erikah Moore; and Chicago Police Department Deputy Chief of Community Relations Eric Washington led a discussion with 2,500 teens attending the Keystone Conference, sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Aaron’s, Inc., and share ideas on how teens can engage in meaningful conversations with local leaders including law enforcement officials.

More than 2,500 teen leaders from around the country convened in Chicago this week for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 50th annual Keystone Conference presented by Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing. This morning, teens participated in a session on community policing featuring Grammy and Oscar winner Common, learning how to engage in conversations that help bridge relationships between teens and law enforcement. The conference kicked-off earlier this week with a newly renovated teen center at the Miguel A. Barreto Union League Boys & Girls Club in Chicago thanks to national partner Aaron’s.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Activate Your Legacy,” showing teens how they can develop and enhance leadership skills enabling participants to be leaders and ambassadors in their Clubs and communities. The first Keystone conference, in 1967, also took place in Chicago.

“Each day, Boys & Girls Clubs around the country inspire and empower teens to elevate their voice and activate their legacy to build a great future,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Thanks to the support of partners like Aaron’s, thousands of teens will realize opportunities to lead and make a difference in their Clubs and communities through the Keystone Club. The 50th anniversary of the Keystone Conference is a celebration of our incredible teens and the legacy of millions of Club alumni who have found their voice through their Boys & Girls Club.”

Associates from Aaron's, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, unveiled the newly renovated Keystone Teen Center on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the Union League Miguel A. Barreto Boys & Girls Club in Chicago, IL. Keystone is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier teen leadership program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creative positive change in their community. (Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Aaron's, Inc.)The Miguel A. Barreto remodel was the 18th renovation made possible through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Aaron’s. With input from the teen members, Aaron’s associates and Club officials worked Monday painting, decorating and furnishing a study, games and lounge area the Club. On Wednesday, local Aaron’s associates and Club officials unveiled the new space, which is now equipped with new technology, sectionals, tables and chairs, sound systems and fresh coats of paint.

“For five decades, Keystone, Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier teen leadership program has transformed the lives of youth across our country, and Aaron’s is honored to help make a difference in these teens’ lives,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “The 50th Annual Keystone Conference is a shining example of how young people can learn to be leaders and affect social change even at their young age. Aaron’s is grateful to help America’s teens realize their potential by investing in this instrumental program.”

In 2015, the Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. announced a three-year, $5 million national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Keystone Program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creating positive change in the community. Keystone Club teen centers provide members ages 14-18 an environment to plan and participate in activities that focus on community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.

Aaron’s partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Keystone Program inspires teens to “Own It” by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve. The Aaron’s and Keystone Club “Own Your Future” campaign supports three principles:

  • Own Your Path: No matter where you come from, the future is yours to decide.
  • Own Your Decisions: Making good choices opens more doors for your future.
  • Own Your Community: Use your talents to make an impact in your community.

To see photos of the Keystone Club remodel and the 50th Keystone Conference, visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bgca) or Aaron’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aaronsinc), on Twitter (www.twitter.com/AaronsInc) and at www.AaronsGives.com.

About Aaron’s, Inc. Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,860 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada as well as its e-commerce platform Aarons.com. In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 22,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit investor.aarons.com, Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,300 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at www.facebook.com/bgca.clubs and https://twitter.com/BGCA_Clubs.

SOURCE Aaron’s, Inc.

CEO in STERLING Group

CEO Class of 2017 at the Aaron’s in Sterling, Illinois

Watershed Development Corporation hosted a rent-to-own business seminar for the WACC – CEO class of 2017 at its Aaron’s store in Sterling, Illinois on February 28, 2017.   The seminar was conducted by Mike Ceruzzi, Watershed’s VP of Business Operations, and included detailed histories of the industry, Aaron’s and Watershed.  Assistant Manager, Jerry Marquez, explained store operations and the inner workings of the RTO transaction.  The 2017 class is an elite group of 20 seniors selected from eight Whiteside county high schools.  Watershed invested $3,000 in the Sterling, Illinois chapter of Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) in January.

CEO Sterling Ceruzzi

Watershed VP Mike Ceruzzi addresses students at RTO Business Seminar.

CEO partners with a community’s businesses and local school systems to mentor high school juniors and seniors to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Each CEO course spans an entire school year and is designed to utilize partnerships that provide an overview of business development and processes.  Students visit area businesses, learn from guest speakers, participate in a class business, write business plans, and start and operate their own businesses. Business concepts learned through the experiential CEO class are critical; the 21st century skills of problem-solving, teamwork, self-motivation, responsibility, higher-order thinking, communication, and inquiry are at the heart of a student’s development throughout the course.

The RTO business seminar and workshop at Aaron’s provided the students with an inside look at the rent-to-own business.  “The CEO students were attentive and sharp.  They really grasped the essence of the business” stated Mike Ceruzzi.  “And RTO isn’t the most intuitive business.  It’s a unique hybrid – part retail, part leasing and 100% customer service.  There is nothing else like it,” Ceruzzi added.

About Watershed Development Corporation
Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception and has been recognized as Aaron’s 2016 Franchise of the Year.

Catie McDonal House FireRent One’s Store Manager Catie McDonald experienced a fire in her home last week that resulted in the loss of her house along with all of her possessions. Fortunately, there were no injuries however she and her family are faced with starting over. “Treasure what you have because it can be lost in minutes, literally,” shared Catie. “I’m trying my best to just hang in there. I even came into work the following day. What else can you do?”

Rent One worked quickly to help their colleague. “We have a tradition of rallying around our own in need and have found a way that has been successful over the years,” said APRO Treasurer and Rent One President Trent Agin. They shared the news with Rent One associates and allowed them to pledge a contribution through payroll deductions and as of Monday they had raised over to $4000 from over 140 associates along with a $1000 contribution from APRO Past President and Rent One Owner Larry Carrico. “People are kind. When they understand a need and we give them a channel to give they are quick to garner support.”

Catie’s oldest daughter created a gofundme account for her family’s loss with a goal of $1000.

The page reads: Tonight the house that my mom and little brother and sister live in burned down in Vincennes, Indiana due to a stove fire. Luckily both her and her boyfriend came out of it unharmed, and my brother and sister were at their dads. Unfortunately, they lost everything. The house is completely gone. Any little bit counts that anyone can donate. My entire family appreciates it from more than anyone can know. Thank you.

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Catie McDonald’s contact information:
812-882-5082
catiemcdonald@rocketmail.com