MT. STERLING, Ill. - On Feb. 6, 2009, Dot Foods and Dot Transportation hosted "Heart of Our Community," a launch party to announce Dot's employee volunteer program, Teaming with Local Charities. Dot's community partners for 2009 include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and the Brown County Schools academic volunteer program. The event was held at the Mt. Sterling YMCA, where 300 attendees - employees and their families - gathered to enjoy games, prizes and food.  

The event was a celebration of an employee incentive program Dot established to reward employees for volunteering in the community. Dot has had a charitable committee for several years and makes donations in the areas of community development, secondary education and health and wellness. Although many employees already volunteered in the community, Dot recently formalized the TLC program, which gives employees who volunteer 20

hours the choice of a day off with pay or a $400 donation in their name to a local nonprofit organization. Employees are eligible for the incentive up to three times a year. The program currently is available at Dot headquarters only but will be expanded to other distribution centers in the future.

"Volunteering has always been a part of the corporate culture at Dot, but we wanted to expand our involvement," said Suzy Kassing, training and development manager and charitable committee chairperson. "The TLC program allows us to reach more individuals in

Accounts receivable employee Jennifer Cagle of Beardstown the nine-county area surrounding Mt. Sterling."  spun the prize wheel and also won Blues tickets in the drawing.

Dot recruited approximately 50 employees to participate in the TLC program during the launch party, for a total of 125 participants in the program. Guests also entered a drawing for prizes such as St. Louis Cardinals and Rams tickets, gas cards, a coupon for a dozen roses and grocery gift cards. Camp Point resident Amy Salamon, who works in the corporate communications department, won the grand prize drawing and selected a Wii video game system. Employees also participated in activities related to the three charities, such as building birdhouses to simulate Habitat for Humanity.

Dot's commitment to the community starts at the top. The owners of Dot established The Tracy Family Foundation in 1997, and the foundation has continuously donated to not-for-profit agencies throughout the Mt. Sterling area. Charitable giving is focused in Brown, Adams, Cass, Fulton, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Pike and Schuyler counties. In addition, each Dot location has its own employee-sponsored charitable committee that initiates volunteer and giving opportunities in surrounding communities.

Dot Foods Inc. carries 83,000 products from 500 food industry manufacturers and is the largest food redistributor in the United States. Dot Foods and Dot Transportation sell and deliver foodservice, convenience, retail, vending, equipment and supplies to leading distributors in all 50 states. Dot Foods operates nine distribution centers in: Modesto, Calif.; Vidalia, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Joliet, Ill.; Cambridge City, Ind.; Williamsport, Md.; Liverpool, N.Y.; and Ardmore, Okla. For information, visit