When business lends a hand to the schools, everyone wins.

Students at both the Franklin County School and the Apalachicola Bay Charter School will have their school supplies taken care of, thanks in part to a more than $20,000 commitment from Cone Distributing of Tallahassee and Ocala, and Goldring Gulf Distributing, LLC, to see to it each has the tools they need to succeed this school year.

“Hurricane Michael devastated so many of the communities and families we serve less than one year ago. While many families are still rebuilding their homes and businesses, we wanted to do what we could to ensure their future is bright,” said Doug Cone, founder of Cone Distributing.

Cone Distributing teamed up with Goldring to make the contribution after learning nearly 400 students in the Pre-K through 12th grade public school were without school supplies. Many supplies had already been donated by the district and other local businesses, but these donations met the needs of only half of the school’s student population.

“We wanted to close the gap and make sure every student starts the year off right, and that requires the necessary tools to get the job done,” said Cone.

“We know all too well what our neighbors in the Panhandle are going through after Hurricane Michael “ said Elliot Maisel, chairman and CEO of Gulf Distributing Holdings, LLC. “Cone Distributing’s commitment to their community inspired us, and we felt compelled to offer our support.”

Cone personally helped distribute the back packs full of supplies to the students who attended the Back-to-School Orientation Thursday afternoon at Franklin County School. Sheriff A.J. Smith and newly elected State Representative Jason Shoaf joined Team Cone at the event to help share the supplies.

In addition to the FCS effort, Cone matched a donation of $1,600 the sheriff’s office had raised on behalf of ABC School students, bringing the contribution to more than $3,400, presented as a check to ABC Principal Chimene Johnson.

“This school year is already off to an excellent start for the Seahawks, thanks to Team Cone,” said Superintendent Traci Moses. “Their generous contribution, combined with others, enabled us to provide school supplies to every student at Franklin County School for the upcoming year.”

“Our most important role as community leaders is to keep our students safe, provide them with a high-quality education and give them the tools they need to succeed,” said Smith. “We’re proud to partner with Cone Distributing to make sure these students have a great year and a bright future.”

Cone Distributing, often referred to as Team Cone, is a beverage distributor operating in 22 counties in north and central Florida, with offices in Ocala and Tallahassee. In Franklin County, Cone Distributing provides energy drinks, sodas and beer.

Goldring Gulf Distributing, LLC in Milton, is a division of Gulf Distributing Holdings, LLC, which manages and operates seven beverage distribution entities, servicing licensed retail accounts in central and southern Alabama, as well as the Florida panhandle and two major markets in Mississippi.