The Hardware Connection, a magazine that covers hardware topics, recently named Zionsville’s Akard True Value Hardware as one of 14 Beacon Award winners, recognizing the store’s dedication to community service in 2020.
“They give the Beacon Awards each year, and they added the category for community service this year, realizing that it was an extraordinary year for so many, and stores went above and beyond for community service,” said Leigh Ann Akard, co-owner of Zionsville’s Akard True Value Hardware and Back to the Bricks.
Akard True Value Hardware was recognized during the Aug. 13 Beacon Awards banquet at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Fla. The Beacon Awards are a national industry program developed by The Hardware Connection magazine and The Hardware Conference to recognize the “best of the best” independent hardware/home improvement retailers.
The Beacon Awards, now in its ninth year, honored winners from two participating wholesalers, plus eight Beacon Award for Community Service winners. Akard True Value Hardware was honored with the Beacon Award for Community Service.
After the pandemic started in March 2020, Akard True Value Hardware lit its store in Christmas lights and added a Christmas tree outside to bring cheer to residents. It also created signs for its “Be the Light” campaign that were distributed and displayed in yards throughout town. The campaign was designed to encourage positivity.
“True Value had a ‘Be the Light’ campaign, which they were doing nationally, so we just took what they were doing and gave it our own personal flair to spotlight our town,” Akard said. “It was an easy thing to get involved in — just the positivity of being a light in a time that was a little dark for people.”
“Leigh Ann Akard and Akard True Value Hardware are more than worthy of their inclusion in the 2020 class of honorees,” stated Chris Jensen, a Zionsville resident and editor/founder/principal of The Hardware Connection. “Leigh Ann’s passion for the industry is matched only by her love of the community her stores serve. She defines what it means to be a beacon of hope during challenging times.”