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NEWPORT, R.I. -- Don Clements of Clement's Markets in Portsmouth, R.I. received the Spirit of America Award from the National Grocers Association (NGA) at the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association's annual meeting here.
Tom Wenning, NGA's s.v.p. and senior counsel, presented the award to Clements in recognition of his participation in community and civic affairs, as well as for his support of the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association.
Clements began his career in the grocery industry as a part-time employee for Almacs Supermarkets while attending college. Over the next 40 years he worked in the grocery business, including as a wholesaler, general manager, and store manager. Clements has owned and operated Clements Market for the past 25 years.
Clements has served his community through such methods as a charity golf tournament he and his family have sponsored for the past 16 years, for which they've raised more than $260,000 for area schools, charities, and nonprofit organizations. Clements has additionally served on the board of the Special Olympics and the Newport Chamber of Congress, is a founder and past president of the Portsmouth Business Association, and is a past president of the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association.
The Spirit of America Award, established in 1982, honors key industry and community figures that have provided leadership in community services and government relations on behalf of a free and independent food distribution system. NGA has presented this award to more than 400 recipients, among them presidents George Bush and Gerald Ford and vice president Dan Quayle, as well as other distinguished individuals serving the public interest.