BrandSource Launches Together We Rise Scholarship Program

AVB’s Jennifer Baldwin and Jim Ristow announce the Bill Pleasants Memorial Scholarship, accompanied by the late member’s family.

Supports America’s foster kids while honoring a beloved BrandSource mentor

By Alan Wolf, YSN

BrandSource charity partner Together We Rise (TWR) is having a busy Convention.

Following last night’s stuffing of hundreds of “Sweet Case” totes for TWR’s young foster care clients, BrandSource today announced the launch of an annual scholarship to help the program’s older kids attend local trade schools.

According to Jennifer Baldwin, AVB’s customer experience VP, the new BrandSource Scholarship Program will award 10 grants each year to qualified foster children thanks to a newly created AVB endowment.

The program joins AVB’s longstanding scholarship series for college-bound children of BrandSource members.

The TWR scholarships will aid foster children on their paths to adulthood while helping to train a new generation of technicians who could apply their skills to appliance repair. “At AVB, we love it when one-plus-one equals three,” Baldwin said during this morning’s General Session. “This program accomplishes that by helping young people in need and contributing to our industry at the same time.”

In addition, one TWR scholarship each year will be given in Bill Pleasants Sr.’s name, in honor of the late BrandSource member and longtime group president who died last March. Pleasants was a respected mentor, tireless dealer advocate and beloved friend who, said AVB CEO Jim Ristow, “stressed the importance of helping those in need and firmly believed in the importance of vocational education.”

In announcing the tribute, Ristow was joined on stage by members of Bill’s family, as were the first four BrandSource Scholarship recipients. TWR is currently reviewing hundreds of applications to complete the program’s inaugural class, Baldwin said.

To date, AVB, along with its BrandSource regions, vendor partners and group affiliates, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the California-based non-profit, which is dedicated to bettering the lives of the countless children and young adults who find themselves adrift in the nation’s foster care system.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.

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