Johnson Brothers of Florida helps lower-income children with a $9.6 million contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program

APRIL 26, 2018 | Tampa, FL

Johnson Brothers of Florida, one of the top beverage distributors in the state, announced today a contribution of $9.6 million to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program through Step Up For Students, serving lower-income children in Florida.

Johnson Brothers’ donation will allow more than 1,468 K-12 students to attend the school of their choice for the 2017-18 school year.

“Finding the right school for your child to attend is important to every family, regardless of their income and the neighborhood they live in. Johnson Brothers is thrilled to support a program that so positively affects the lives of Florida children,” said Frank Galante, president of Johnson Brothers of Florida. “We are proud of the difference we are making in our community and look forward to our continued partnership with Step Up For Students.”

The donation was announced during Johnson Brothers sales meeting held at their corporate office in Tampa. Brenda Budd, principal of St. Joseph Catholic School, attended the event and shared a few stories of families at her school who have benefited from the scholarship program.

“We at St. Joseph Catholic School have benefited greatly from the generosity of Johnson Brothers of Florida. Their commitment to ensure students can attend their school of choice has allowed us to educate children that would not have the opportunity to receive a private Catholic education,” said Principal Brenda Henson Budd. “Johnson Brothers of Florida and Step Up for Students is helping our students to be on the pathway to achieving our school goals of College and Heaven.”

This is the sixth consecutive year Johnson Brothers of Florida has contributed to the nonprofit organization that administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program for financially disadvantaged schoolchildren. The program is funded with tax-credited donations and allows parents and schoolchildren to choose between a K-12 scholarship that helps with private school tuition and fees, or one that assists with transportation costs to out-of-county public schools.

“We are truly grateful to have Johnson Brothers as a long-time partner in our mission to ensure that lower-income children have choices in their education. With their help, more Florida families are able to access an educational environment that best fits their child’s learning needs,” said Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students. “On behalf of Step Up and the families we service, we thank you for your continued commitment and generosity.”

For the 2017-18 school year, Step Up For Students is serving more than 100,000 students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued at up to $6,343 per student for kindergarten through fifth grade, $6,631 for sixth through eighth grade, and $6,920 for ninth through 12th grade. More than 1,700 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide.

JOHNSON BROTHERS OF FLORIDA PRESIDENT FRANK GALANTE (RIGHT) PRESENTS STEP UP FOR STUDENTS PRESIDENT DOUG TUTHILL (LEFT) WITH A CONTRIBUTION OF $9.6 MILLION DURING JOHNSON BROTHERS GENERAL SALES MEETING. THE CONTRIBUTION WILL FUND 1,468 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR LOWER-INCOME FLORIDA SCHOOLCHILDREN TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL OF THEIR CHOICE. JOINING THEM IS ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPAL BRENDA HENSON BUDD, A WEST TAMPA SCHOOL PARTICIPATING IN THE STEP UP SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

About Johnson Brothers of Florida
Johnson Brothers of Florida is a wine, spirits and beer distributor located in Tampa, with headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 1989, Johnson Brothers of Florida has been serving the state of Florida with a tradition of excellence, distributing to 24 counties throughout the Central and Southwest regions. To learn more about Johnson Brothers, please visit www.JohnsonBrothers.com.

About Step Up For Students
Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that helps manage the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Students who qualify for the national free or reduced-price lunch, or those who are homeless or in foster or out-of-home care, may qualify. The scholarship provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’ choice or financial assistance to offset the transportation cost to an out-of-district public school. Since 2001, Step Up has awarded more than 680,000 scholarships.

Step Up also helps administer state-funded Gardiner Scholarship for Florida students with certain special needs. With the Gardiner Scholarship, recipients may use the funds for a variety of approved services including private tutoring, occupational therapy, instructional materials and other services.

For more information, visit: www.StepUpForStudents.org.

About St. Joseph Catholic School
St. Joseph Catholic School has been educating the children of West Tampa since 1896. We are a school of the Diocese of St. Petersburg and a Notre Dame ACE Academy. To learn more about St. Joseph Catholic School, please visit http://www.stjosephtampa.org/.

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