Stinson's Stationers, the longtime Bakersfield office supply company, is celebrating its 70th birthday in a unique way: It's giving away a lot of money.
Mind you, just to local nonprofits. One hundred of them.
The company, launched out of a small building two years after the end of World War II, will celebrate the conclusion of its seventh decade of business with an Aug. 29 breakfast at the Stinson's Distribution Facility at 200 Sonora St., just northeast of Union and E. California avenues.
The 100 previously named awardees of Stinson's 2017 Community Giving Grants have been invited to attend a 7 a.m. celebratory breakfast, to be followed by an awards presentation at 7:30 a.m. That's when the grants will be distributed to representatives of each of the community nonprofits.
Stinson's is in its third generation of family ownership and management.
It began with Ben Stinson Sr., who settled in Bakersfield in 1916 and started Stinson’s Grocery Co. He handed off his entrepreneurial instincts to Ben Stinson Jr., who opened Stinson Stationers in 1947 and was later joined by his father. In less than five years, Stinson’s outgrew its original space and moved to a new location that included a warehouse and delivery facility.
In 1981, Ben Stinson III took over as president and in 1983 he was joined by his brother-in-law, Russ Haley, as vice president.
Ben III promised a few weeks ago to give away $70,000 to some 70 non-profit groups, and the number soon grew to more than 100.
“It’s amazing how many people are providing services that are worthy that are contributing to our community,” Stinson told KERN-AM on Aug. 10.
The promotion was connected to the business’ 70th anniversary, but Stinson said he’s found many groups in need of support. He also believes the need could be greater because of cutbacks to federal programs.
“Things are going to get a lot worse,” he told KERN. “You don’t even realize what’s happening. You’re going to see a lot impact from what (President Trump) is doing. We’re already seeing it. We do business with a lot of folks who are funded by the federal government, and they’ve already seen a significant decrease.”
In addition to his $70,000 for 70 event, Stinson has also organized a school backpack drive, where student backpacks were stuffed with school supplies for children in need.
Tours of Stinson's huge facility will available before the Aug. 29 breakfast, starting at 6:30 a.m., and after breakfast, from 7:45 to 9 a.m.
For details on the breakfast, or to make reservations, contact Haley Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees must RSVP by Tuesday, Aug. 22.