Waggies by Maggie & Friends, a Wilmington nonprofit dog treat company that employs people with intellectual disabilities, has won the $10,000 grand prize in M&T Bank’s first Understanding What’s Important Business Challenge.
M&T invited local businesses to share their stories about community organizations that are important to them, and Janssen’s Market in Greenville nominated Waggies.
Janssen’s, an M&T customer since the store opened its doors in the 1950s, maintains an average of more than $1 million in deposits there, but it is not a loan client. Janssen’s was the first retail store to carry Waggies’ dog treats.
M&T received nearly 500 nominations from businesses, and they chose five finalists. More than 20,000 people casts votes for their favorites. M&T awarded $1,000 prizes to the runners-up, all nonprofits in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. The contest drew 96,151 visitors to the bank’s web page during the voting phase.
The announcement was made this morning to celebrate Giving Tuesday.
Paula Janssen, who now managers the store her grandfather started, serves on the board of Waggies by Maggie & Friends. Over the last 10 years, Janssen’s has helped Waggies buy equipment and design packaging. Janssen’s also helped Waggies secure UPC codes so the nonprofit could sell its products at large retailers.