Mr. Ken Capano, owner of the ShopRite Supermarkets of Norwich and New London, served on the Board of Directors of The Arc for six years. As a member of the Finance Committee, Mr. Capano became acutely aware of the high cost that The Arc was incurring in operating and maintaining its fleet of 16 vehicles, even before the skyrocketing cost of gasoline. He told the Board of Directors that his company—ShopRite—and many other businesses in the region support a number of non-profit organizations through their charitable giving and donations. These funds are traditionally expended early in the year because of the many needs of these community organizations. However, he stated that his and many other companies could use their sizable advertising budgets to creatively assist these agencies while still fulfilling their advertising goals. He suggested that his business could promote its “Partners in Caring” initiative using advertising dollars, which would result in a win/win situation for the company and the non-profit organization.
The Board approved this concept and after many months of planning and design work, the first two vans were wrapped by ShopRite and Black Bear and were on the road at the beginning of 2007.