Dot Foods awards $30,000 in grants to 40 west- central Illinois non-profits during Giving Festival

Tana Parsano

Tana Parsano was recognized as Volunteer of the Year at Dot Foods' recent Giving Festival. | Photo courtesy of Dot Foods

MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — Dot Foods, Inc., the nation’s largest food industry redistributor, held its Giving Festival event on Wednesday, May 22, at the Mount Sterling distribution center. This is the second year of the event, which included three special components:

  • 40 west-central Illinois non-profit organizations showcased their organizations’ missions. Each non-profit received a grant from Dot for their involvement in the festival. Dot also recognized employees for their dedication to giving back to their community.
  • Dot announced the company’s 2023 Volunteer of the Year.
  • Dot’s Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VERG) presented 12 Dot Foods and Dot Transportation, Inc., employees with Quilts of Valor. The Quilts of Valor program provides comforting quilts for service members or veterans touched by war. 

Giving Festival

Forty west-central Illinois non-profit organizations showcased their organizations’ missions. Dot surprised each attending non-profit organization with a grant as a thank you for their ongoing partnership. Non-profits took home a total of $30,000 in grants to support their missions. Non-profits that participated in the event included the United Way, the American Red Cross, the Alzheimer’s Association, various school districts and multiple food pantries, including the Central Illinois Food Bank and the Beardstown Food Pantry.

Dot’s Mount Sterling charitable committee and the company’s Teaming with Local Charities (TLC) volunteer program co-sponsored the event. Dot’s charitable group and TLC reach into 11 west-central Illinois counties to volunteer and provide grants and food donations.

“The Giving Festival is a celebration of the nonprofit agencies who partner with us in community work,” Suzy Parn, director of Dot’s corporate charitable oversight committee, said in a press release. “It’s a fun way to show our appreciation for their daily efforts to sustain the quality of life in our region. The festival also lets our employees meet with the charities in their home communities as they consider supporting them with volunteer hours or charitable donations. They get to see up close where Dot’s donations go.”

2023 Volunteer of the Year winner

Dot announced Tana Parsano from Mount Sterling as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year winner and awarded her a $1,000 donation to the charity of her choice, which she directed to the United Way of Brown County. Dot will send Parsano on a celebratory vacation at RT’S Cove, Dot Foods’ private resort in Osage Beach, Mo.

Parsano has worked at the Dot Foods headquarters in Mount Sterling for 29 years. She is a national account coordinator on Dot’s customer service team and has given her time to volunteer with many organizations. Parsano has played a key role in organizing car shows and cruise nights. She also has been a part of Brown County Against Cancer initiatives. She contributes to the Brown County Quail Forever chapter and assists with their annual banquet. She assembles Christmas baskets for the Two Rivers Food Pantry in Mount Sterling, and she recently was elected president of the Brown County United Way Board.

“Tana has volunteered a total of 879 hours and has volunteered at each of our charitable programs through Dot’s TLC Program,” said Jessica Mock, director of TLC. “Her dedication to giving back to her community is truly inspiring, motivating others to get involved and make a difference. She is a role model in the world of volunteering.”

More than 250 Dot employees volunteered for a combined 4,500 hours in 2023 as part of Dot Foods TLC program. Employees donated $20,400 to local charity organizations via employee program incentives. 

The other Volunteer of the Year finalists were Patty Barchak, Brittany Cowan, Lora Decker, Sarah Goers, Amanda Llewellyn, Micheal Neese, Ed Scott and Lindsay Wiskirchen.

Dot Charitable made $3.5 million in donations of money and products in the communities the company calls home across the U.S. and Canada. The Mount Sterling charitable committee donated $1.4 million to local groups in 2023. Groups interested in partnering with Dot can share more about their needs and upcoming projects here.

Quilts of Valor Foundation Awards

Dot’s Veterans Employee Resource Group organized a Quilts of Valor ceremony for employees of 12 Dot Foods and Dot Transportation, Inc. The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national group that creates comforting quilts for service members or veterans touched by war. Recipients are nominated based on their selfless service and sacrifice in defense of our nation. 

Recipient veteran employees were:

  • Ian Abbott, Army, Chandlerville
  • David Askew, Air Force, Baylis
  • Darin Brauer, Army, Springfield
  • Taylor Feigl, Army, Rushville
  • Deann Hilgenbrinck, Army, Mendon
  • Dana Hoss, Navy, Bruner, Mo.
  • Wendell Johnson, Army, Merdosia
  • Gregory Jones, Army, Jacksonville
  • William Palmer, Army, Beardstown
  • Jenna Salefski, Army, Winchester
  • Lonnie Smith, Army, Harrison, Ark.
  • Dean Spray, Army, Jacksonville

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