Ricker Family Pays It Forward to Local Community

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Paramount Theatre in Anderson, Ind.

Ricker Family Pays It Forward to Local Community

Jay Ricker
Jay Ricker, along with his wife Nancy, give back to Madison County, Ind.

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Ricker family is giving back to the community, donating more than $1 million to local causes.

Jay and Nancy Ricker, former owners of the family's Ricker Oil Co. and its chain of Ricker's convenience stores, revealed they are giving $500,000 to the Paramount Theatre in it hometown to pay off the building's mortgage.

The couple made the announcement on Dec. 20 during an event at the historic theater in Madison County, according to the News and Tribune.

In addition, the family is providing $500,000 the Madison County Community Foundation for the Habitat for Humanity program, Nancy announced.

The family also presented the Madison County Historical Society with a $25,000 check, and will provide $500,000 to the Madison County Community.

The Ricker family is not stopping there. It established a separate foundation to provide funding in future years for additional projects.

Jay said a substantial amount of money was placed in the foundation, and future grants will be awarded from the earnings of the initial investment, the news outlet reported.

Former chairman of Ricker Oil, Jay was the 2018 retailer inductee into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame.

The donations follow the sale of Ricker Oil and its c-store network to Giant Eagle. Despite the sale, which was finalized in early December, the Ricker family is still part of the community, Jay noted.

"We put this together at short notice," he said. "We've always been thankful to the community for our successful business. We wanted to give back to the people who made us successful."

According to Ricker, paying off the mortgage would provide the Paramount Theatre board with working capital and remove a $7,000-per-month mortgage payment. He also recognized the local residents who had guaranteed the theater's mortgage over the years since it was first saved from the wrecking ball in 1989.

"People who are here will know how much this means to us," said Randy Hammel, executive director of the Paramount Theatre. "The Ricker family has put an exclamation point on this season of giving."

Nancy said the company has always supported Habitat for Humanity and was creating a designated endowment through the Madison County Community Foundation in the amount of $500,000.

She said because of a grant through the Lilly Endowment Inc., the foundation will receive an additional $250,000. The $250,000 would be placed in the unrestricted fund for future programs, added Sally DeVoe, director of the Madison County Community Foundation.

"We wanted to give back to the community," Jay said. "Hopefully this will be a learning experience and other local successful businesses will give back to the community."

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