Republic National Distributing Company Announces $15 Million Contribution to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program

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RNDC funds more than 2,750 scholarships for Florida students for the 2014-15 school year.

Ron Barcena joins Rep. Grant, Dave Johnson, Doug Tuthill, Bob Kaminski, Emile Sartalamacchia and Doug Rhea.

RNDC is thrilled to support a program that so positively affects the lives of Florida children.

Florida Representative Jamie Grant visited Republic National Distributing Company’s Tampa office this morning to personally thank company representatives for providing $15 million worth of scholarships for low-income Florida students.

"The significance and lasting impact of this contribution cannot be overstated," said Rep. Grant. "By supporting the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, Republic National is investing in the future of our children and our community by providing educational opportunities for Florida's lower-income K-12 students.”

Representatives from Step Up For Students, a Tampa-based nonprofit that administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, joined Grant in thanking Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) executives for the contribution, which will fund more than 2,750 full scholarships.

Step Up For Students is funded by corporate donors, like RNDC, that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions to the program. The program provides scholarships to qualified low-income families throughout Florida, allowing recipients to choose between a scholarship to help with private school tuition and fees, or a transportation scholarship to attend an out-of-district public school.

Ron Barcena, executive vice president of RNDC Florida, presented Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill with an oversized check representing the company’s $15 million pledge for the 2014-15 school year.

“RNDC is thrilled to support a program that so positively affects the lives of Florida children,” said Barcena. “We know that a quality education is the cornerstone for a successful future, and we couldn’t be more pleased to help provide a great foundation for so many students in need.”

RNDC joined Step Up For Students as a corporate partner in 2012 and has since contributed a total of $45 million.

“On behalf of our families, we thank Republic National Distributing Company for their generosity. There are thousands of students who will now have a choice in their education, thanks to this significant contribution,” said Doug Tuthill, Step Up For Students president. “RNDC is a wonderful partner and we are thankful for their continued support.”

During the 2013-14 school year, nearly 60,000 students throughout the state are attending a school of their parents’ choice with help from Step Up For Students Scholarships. There are currently more than 2,500 Step Up scholars in Hillsborough County.

About Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC)
RNDC is the second largest distributor of premium wine and spirits in the United States with operations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. RNDC employs more than 7,800 individuals nationwide. For more information, please visit

About Step Up For Students
Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization responsible for administering the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The scholarship program is available to students who qualify for the free- or reduced-price lunch program and students who are in foster care or who are homeless. It provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’ choice, or $500 toward transportation costs to an out-of-district public school. Scholarships are funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions. For further information, visit

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Ashley McDuffie
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