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Stogie Commentary: Cigar Companies Give Back

12 Jan 2011

Aside from creating thousands of jobs and innovating and producing the stogies we love, most cigar companies also make significant charitable contributions. Many are playing active roles in the development of communities, increasing access to basic necessities, and even saving lives. These selfless initiatives are admirable and, in my opinion, underreported. So today I’m pleased to highlight several companies who deserve our praise. They are but a few of the dozens of organizations in the tobacco industry who are giving back in important ways.

Toraño Family Cigar Co.

For the holidays, Toraño partnered with the Miami-based Neat Stuff to provide new toys for children who come from abused and underprivileged homes. Company president Charlie Toraño (pictured) says this won’t be the last time he’ll undertake a charitable effort. “I look forward to Toraño Family Cigar Co. being more involved in the community in the near future as we can’t lose focus on those who are less fortunate,” he said. Franklin Monjarrez, executive director of Neat Stuff and a cigar smoker, said: “I am honored to have met with Charlie Toraño to undertake this amazing event to help Neat Stuff deliver toys to the children who need them most.”

Cigar Family Charitable Foundation

No discussion of cigar charities is complete without mentioning the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, a joint venture of J.C. Newman and the Fuente Family. This organization builds schools and health clinics, supports the development of business ventures, sponsors sports programs, and invests in water purification, all in the Dominican Republic. The goal is to make a positive humanitarian impact in an important cigar-producing country.

Other Noteworthy Causes

While space is too limited to provide even a cursory glance of the tobacco industry’s overall charitable contributions, it’s worth noting that cigar makers are giving to a host of causes, including the troops, guide dogs, hunger relief, cancer research, literacy, disaster relief, etc. Altadis’ Montecristo Relief Organization, for example, has donated millions to build homes, schools, and medical facilities, as well as provide scholarships and economic opportunities to victims of natural disasters in the Caribbean and the U.S. And Tesa, one of my favorite boutique manufacturers, donates 10% of its profits to benefit the housing, education, and sustenance of the Nicaraguan people.

Friends of CRA

Let’s also not forget that many cigar companies support Cigar Rights of America, a consumer-based, non-profit public advocacy organization that works at the local, state, and federal level of government to protect the freedoms of cigar enthusiasts. So, in addition to joining CRA yourself, you can fight against tobacco taxes and smoking bans by buying cigars made by the Friends of CRA.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Cigar Companies Give Back”

  1. Todd Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    There is a story in the new Cigar Network Magazine about the Montecristo Relief Organization. Its a good read. Funny how that type of stuff is never men tioned when zealots look to put all tobacco companies out of business.

  2. Patrick A Friday, January 14, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    PRESS RELEASE FROM ALTADIS

    January 2011

    12th ANNUAL MONTECRISTO CUP RAISED

    FUNDS FOR VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS

    The highly successful 12th Annual Montecristo Cup Charity Pro-Am golf tournament, which benefits the Montecristo Relief Organization, was held this past December 1st through 5th at the world class Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

    Over 100 amateurs and professionals from the PGA tours attended the pro-am, which is known as “the ultimate marriage of golf and cigars” and has earned a reputation as one of the finest pro-am golf events of its kind.

    Participants enjoyed three days of tournament golf on the resort’s renowned Ocean Club course as well as fabulous food and spirits, unlimited luxury cigars and the camaraderie that brings people back year after year.

    In addition to the spectacular golf – amateurs played with a different pro each day – guests enjoyed the resort’s many amenities including the exhilarating water sports, spectacular marine life exhibits and, of course, the Caribbean’s largest casino.

    Festivities included the popular silent auction featuring Altadis U.S.A. cigars and humidors, original artwork by renowned artists, fine jewelry and watches, autographed sports memorabilia, golf equipment and apparel and much more.

    Funds raised at the live auction will build additional homes at the Montecristo Village, currently under construction in Honduras. When completed, the Village will consist of more than 100 homes, schools and community services.

    The Montecristo Relief Organization was founded in 1999 to provide ongoing aid after two devastating hurricanes caused unimaginable death and suffering in the Dominican Republic and other areas of the Caribbean.

    Over the years, the charity has raised over $4 million to fund the building of homes, schools and medical facilities. Hundreds of wheelchairs have been donated for the sick and injured. Scholarships have been provided for children who would otherwise have not received educations. Economic opportunities, such as tilapia fish farms, have been created to provide the needy with sustainable incomes. Funds have been donated to Operation Smile to bring new hope to children with severe facial deformities.

    Additional aid has included over $1 million raised by the charity together with Altadis U.S.A. to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    For more information about the Montecristo Relief Organization or the Montecristo Cup Charity Pro-Am, please contact Janelle Rosenfeld at (954) 938-7837 or jrosenfeld@altadisusa.com.

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