Astound Business June 14, 2024

Small Business Sweepstakes

Congratulations to all of the businesses who were nominated and to the winners!

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, the places we gather, and the people we support. We couldn’t be more proud of all the entries and to help these local community partners with a free year of internet service.

We look forward to running this sweepstakes again later this year and having the privilege of supporting a new round of small businesses.

Auburn Pet Clinic – Auburn, CA

Auburn Pet ClinicFor over four decades, Auburn Pet Clinic has been a cornerstone of the community’s well-being. The company takes immense pride in its longstanding commitment to personalized care, and creating a comfortable, dependable and informative environment for veterinary care, along with giving back to the community.

The clinic works closely with all surrounding animal shelters and rescue groups. Beyond regular business hours they often discuss cases and offer guidance because a pet’s well-being is their top priority.

From supporting local initiatives like funding the development of a beloved bike park to rallying behind events such as an elementary school jog-a-thon and middle school Color run, the pet clinic is deeply invested in the vitality of Auburn’s neighborhoods.

“Community isn’t just a word – it’s a way of life. We stand out by delivering high-quality service, going the extra mile, and providing personalized care for every furry friend that walks through our doors,” said owner Wendy Mackinnon. “Whether it’s lending a helping hand at local fundraising events or providing educational resources, we’re dedicated to enriching the lives of those we serve.”

The clinic’s commitment to excellence has been recognized, as it was named the Best Veterinarian in Auburn in 2023. The clinic was nominated for its family atmosphere based on genuine care and unwavering support in the community.

Mission Waco – Waco, TX

Mission WacoMission Waco has been serving the Waco, TX community for over 30 years, since 1992. The organization’s main areas of service are enhancement education for local children and youth, and support services for the homeless community. Since the mission’s founding, numerous children have grown to successful adulthood, including college educations, and the number of homeless in Waco has significantly decreased, with previous homeless residents obtaining jobs and housing.

Carlton Willis, the organization’s associate executive director of programs, is proud that the mission is able to serve the surrounding community in many ways such as providing a homeless shelter for adult men and women, along with social services via assistance with ID, medication, and transportation.

According to Willis, the mission provides after-school programs for children and youth, which is inclusive of Creative Arts (art, dance, theatre, and music). It also has a grocery store within the North Waco Community, where there was practically no food in the area previously. The mission also provides job training, and employment programs (Street Sweep), Donation Health Clinic, Legal Services.

Willis serves on the Board for Community in Schools, Leadership Waco Alumni, Education to Workforce Committee, Mentor for Bill Logue Juvenile Detention Center, Trustee and Praise and Worship Leader at Greater New Light MBC.

For more information on the programs we run, visit and view our Program Highlights flipbook.

Brentwood Social House – Austin, TX

Brentwood Social HouseBrentwood Social House was established in November 2016 by Suzanne Daniels. She and her family have lived in the Brentwood neighborhood since 2012.

“Brentwood Social House is more than just a coffee shop; we are a vital community hub that serves as a beacon of warmth, inclusion, and support in the heart of Austin,” Daniels says. “Our dedication to fostering connections and spreading love goes beyond providing excellent coffee and delicious baked goods; it permeates every aspect of our establishment and drives our mission forward.”

Whether it’s a parent enjoying a fun moment with their child in Brentwood’s outdoor playscape or a group of friends gathering for book club in a cozy indoor space, Brentwood Social House is where connections are formed and memories are made.

Brentwood Social House is most proud of its role in creating a sense of belonging for all in the community. The team strives to create an environment where individuals from all backgrounds feel comfort, connection, and belonging. As a woman-owned business, Brentwood recognizes the significance of representation and empowerment and has created a space where everyone, be it team members or patrons, feels valued and respected. The social house’s active involvement with the community, through hosting free events, endorsing local initiatives, and providing platforms for artists and entrepreneurs, epitomizes its commitment to social responsibility.

“By proudly showcasing our internal values through visual symbols like the Black Lives mural and Pride Equity flag, we not only enrich our community but also elevate the collective human experience,” said Daniels “We believe in celebrating diversity, thereby fostering an environment where every individual feels not just accepted, but truly celebrated.”

Brentwood actively engages with its community through multifaceted involvement. It extends support to local non-profits such as Brentwood Elementary PTA and Austin Mutual Aid, hosts a free community fridge sponsored by ATX Free Fridge Project, and provides donation requests to numerous other non-profit organizations. The founder’s leadership role within non-profits like Good Work Austin and involvement with Impact Austin’s marketing team exemplify the establishment’s commitment to fostering genuine connections through collaborative efforts. Additionally, its partnership with the Austin Police Department as a Safe Place underscores its unwavering commitment to ensuring safety and security throughout the community.

Nominated for the Astound recognition because it’s a “Wonderful local family friendly coffee shop with delicious pastries. Since having a kid, we’ve been coming here a lot and it’s been a great hub to chat with other parents while the kids learn and explore. They have an awesome pirate ship playset and a nice inside kids’ room. A gem in our neighborhood that I don’t think gets enough love.”

Youth First – Evansville, IN

Youth FirstAn Indiana treasure, Youth First partners with schools, universities, other agencies, businesses, churches, neighborhoods, and individuals in a variety of collaborative efforts to strengthen youth mental health and well-being to over 50,000 children, parents and schools across 13 Indiana counties.

Services are free to those served and require year-round fundraising for support.
A year of free internet services from Astound allows some dollars to be directed to saving young lives, in addition to providing vital connectivity for the non-profit. This organization works diligently to create a strong, healthy young population that will be ready to learn and be more successful in life and productive employees in years to come.

For over 25 years Youth First has equipped thousands of young people with the hope and help they need to become thriving adults. The agency partners with 125 Indiana schools to give over 52,500 students and their families free, easy access to over 90 licensed mental health professionals (primarily master’s-level social workers) and hundreds of evidence-based prevention programs. These clinically trained professionals are embedded in schools to strengthen student mental health and well-being through one-to-one mentoring, small group support, educational programming, links to resources, and parent/teacher engagement.

The demand for the organization’s services continues to grow, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Youth First Mental Health Professionals and prevention programs are uniquely positioned to offer that care. Positive outcomes and testimonials from our programs and services (available at demonstrate that the Youth First model is working, even during times of extraordinary challenge and change.

“Now more than ever, schools must be places of care and support in order to be places of learning, said Parri Black, President & CEO. “Most importantly, the youth and families we serve are growing in resilience and hope.”

To learn more about the organization’s 25th anniversary video and other testimonials:

Cano Coffee Company – Queens, NY

Cano Coffee CompanyIn 2015, Diana Santiago Cano and her business partner started Cano Coffee, focused on bringing coffee directly from family farms in Colombia to Queens. In 2018, the small business got into its first farmer’s market and now Cano Coffee is operating more than 19 farmers markets throughout New York and New Jersey. In addition, and thanks to the support and loyalty of farmer’s market customers, the company was able to open its first Cano Coffee Shop in Astoria, Queens in April 2023.

According to Cano, her company’s coffee is brought to the local community from the high mountains of Huila, Colombia. The company’s goal is to offer its customers the most exclusive coffee, roasted and package locally.

“Cano Coffee gives the surrounding communities the opportunity to experience quality coffee that is not offered by major coffee companies,” Cano said. “We provide them with a cozy and intimate environment in our coffee shop, where not only they can experience specialty coffee that is weekly roasted; but they can also learn about the entire coffee process from farm to cup.”

The company takes pride in sustainable planting of coffee trees, maintaining current ones and managing each harvest according to the weather each season. Cano Coffee Company is focused on three different factors.

“First, we want to educate our customers about the entire process a coffee bean goes through before ending in your cup,” said Cano

“Second, we want to show our customers the different methods of preparations, the different ways coffee can be drank; and how all this together can affect, change and create a custom cup of coffee.”

“Finally, we will provide to our customers the most exclusive specialty coffee in the market; by being involved in the entire process of the coffee. From managing the harvest in the farm, roasting, packaging and preparing the coffee.”

Shanasai – Seattle, WA

ShanasaiShanasai is a software and information services firm whose work impacts communities across the world.

Best known for their work on Matnsaz, which builds novel new technology for the Arabic script, speakers of languages such as Urdu and Arabic in South Asia, the US, Canada & the UK are benefiting from their work.
“We’re proud that our approach is not just copy-pasting well-known solutions but rather we learn about our customers and their unique needs.” Says Zeerka Ahmed, Owner of Shanasai. “In the technology world especially, there are many underserved populations. Our work is specifically targeted at these historically underserved populations.”

Zeerak is also involved in higher education as a frequent lecturer in design and computer science, as a volunteer for his alma mater, and local non-profits. He is inspired to contribute and help make the community better than how he found it.

Italian Style Pizza & Pasta – Folcroft, PA

Italian Style Pizza & PastaBrian Himes is a lifelong member of the Folcroft community for 50 years, and as a staple of the Folcroft community is always willing to participate in school and youth organizations fundraisers and donations.

The relationships with customers and fellow business owners in the community are what Brian is most proud of, focused on helping area kids.

Brian is a 22-year volunteer youth coach and is involved in mentorship with local youth clubs teaching responsibility. He pays kids to clean the restaurant’s parking lot and surrounding areas. No stranger to adversity, Brian lost his leg 23 years ago after an accident and subsequent infection. It has not stopped him from running his business or being a vital part of the community.

Nunzi Advertising Specialties – Luzerne, PA

Nunzi Advertising SpecialtiesNunzi Advertising creates products that increase brand awareness, enhance events, and generate consumer engagement for clients.

In addition, the company has worked to support the Riverside Jr. Vikings, Riverside SD and Taylor PD. “We are always proud of the work that we do with schools and non-profits,” said owner Nunzi Allegruzzi.
“We have worked with many non-profits like the Jude Zayac Foundation and the Andrew Mazza Foundation for several years!”

The company has team members who have worked with the Leadership Lackawanna Program and several who volunteer in their local communities.

Confetti Affairs – Easton, PA

Confetti AffairsBorn and raised Eastonian, Abbey Borroughs has been actively involved in the community for the last eight years with coaching at the local high school and the past four years running her business. Confetti Affairs is a design, styling and planning company located in Easton. Staying up to date with today’s party decor and styling trends to create memorable events.
Her business plays an active part in the community as it donates balloon services for high schools, athletics, student and school events, family nights and wherever else the balloons can be of service to the community.

Children’s Lighthouse of Spring – Spring, TX

The Children’s Lighthouse of SpringChildren’s Lighthouse of Spring is an early learning school or a childcare provider catering to the families living in surrounding community of Spring-Harmony.

Parents can go to work, earn an income, contribute and grow the economy knowing their children are safe, learning and having fun in our school.

APC Bookkeeping – Camano, WA

APC Bookkeeping has been in business for four years, helping more than 20 businesses manage their company finances.
Owner Karen Willams is proud she can help businesses thrive so that their employees can earn a living.

Freedom for Living Financial Services - Easton, PA

As a member of the Lehigh Valley community, Freedom for Living Financial Services has provided complementary financial services and strategies for families, individuals and small businesses since 2008.

Ronald Rogers, financial consultant and owner of Freedom for Living Financial Services, does not charge a fee for services. Rather, his company aims to empower people by providing the knowledge and tools needed for them to make the right decisions regarding their money, goals, and dreams – regardless of how much or little the individual has.

With over 400 active clients throughout 25 states, Ronald has helped many individuals get out of debt, save money by obtaining proper and affordable insurance protection, as well as create a plan for retirement

Integrative Music Therapy LLC - Newburgh, IN

As a member of the Evansville community, Integrative Music Therapy LLC, a music therapy practice that has been serving more than 2,000 individuals and families in the tri state area since 2007.

Integrative Music Therapy services individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and autism and was chosen due to its dedication in supporting individuals and families to access a better quality of life through the intentional application of neurologic music therapy. Its strength-based, neuroscience-informed approach has unleashed potential and supported individuals of all ages to overcome physical, sensory-motor, communication, mental health and academic challenges to live lives filled with confidence, understanding, and hope.

As a non-profit, Integrative Music Therapy will be able to allocate more resources in helping members in the communities it serves with the offset of costs it had budgeted for internet service for the year.

The Honeycomb Network - Chicago, IL

As a member of the Humboldt Park community for 30 years, The Honeycomb Network is a multi-functional co-working and co-creating community space and serves as a boutique apothecary gift shop, wellness center, event space and gallery for residents to gather.

As the winner of Astound’s small business initiative in offering a year of free internet service, The Honeycomb Network will be able to redirect resources spent on high-speed internet costs to other community offerings/amenities.

North Mason Food Bank – Belfair, WA

North Mason Food Bank has been operating in Belfair since 1983. With an emphasis on dignity and respect, the food bank builds community, shares abundance, and nourishes lives. The organization provides food and basic hygiene to anyone who comes to the food bank, with a belief that everyone in the community should have access to these essentials and should be able to receive them with dignity and respect.

The food bank works to eliminate food insecurity and connect the community. Employees are inspired everyday by the community that is created through this sharing of abundance, from the tireless volunteer hours that are put in, to the thoughtfulness and generosity of donors.

The food bank collaborates with other service providers in the community. This includes providing holiday meals in collaboration with Faith in Action (the Hub) and the former North Mason Resources, as well as the Giving Tree. It also collaborates with many local businesses in order to spread the word and to host food and donation drives. The organization has set a goal to strengthen these community partnerships, while striving to increase collaboration in the North Mason community over the next years

Click here to read an article about the Food Bank being gifted a year of free Internet.

Bennett’s Grill – Rocklin, CA

Bennett’s has supported area charities and schools daily since 1990, with a constant presence in the community. In that time, the business has built school gardens, hosted many fundraisers and supported the community in general.

Now it has named its new restaurant coming to Rocklin, as Bennett’s Westside Grill, continuing its involvement in the community for years to come.

Being most proud of its ongoing commitment to the surrounding community, Bennett’s volunteers for and supports many local nonprofits: In January 2023 alone, the organization donated 29 gift boxes for non-profit fund raisers. If there is a need, the business tries to fill it with hospitality and service.

Uptown Barre LLC – Oakland, CA

Oakland Uptown Barre LLC was formed in January 2020, just before the impact of the COVID pandemic and the resulting Bay Area lockdown. Pure Barre Oakland | Uptown was finally able to open on February 6, 2023. Being brand-new, the health and fitness business has not made its full impact yet. Even so, it already has more than 220 members, with a vision to significantly benefit its local community by providing a safe and inclusive environment for people improve their health and wellbeing through low impact / high intensity exercise that is motivating and fun to do.

The Bay Area, and Oakland in particular, has been slow to recover from the pandemic lockdown, as this took a toll on the local economy and the health and wellbeing of the community. Oakland is a vibrant, multicultural city and the company feels that its business can help play a key role in reviving and recovery of that dynamic atmosphere that was put on “pause” during the pandemic. People need to be with other people, socializing, interacting, growing and being active together to be healthy and happy.

Uptown Barre believes that as its business grows and becomes more established, it can become a strong force for positive good.

Ashtown Brewing – Longview, WA

Ashtown has been a member of the Longview-area community for more than a decade, though the company recently moved to its new location and expanded its tasting room.

Ashtown supports and donates to causes that help build its surrounding community, through fundraising and supporting its local first-responders and other causes that are important to building our community. The company believes an additional impact lies in providing a safe, comfortable, and relaxed atmosphere where families can unwind and enjoy themselves.

Ashtown takes pride in its reputation and the impact it has been able to have through serving great beer and providing a place where the community can gather and use Ashtown’s business to help their causes.

The company has a non-profit called the Ashtown Foundation to fundraise for community causes. Most recently, this featured a fundraiser to support local Police department’s K9 unit.

Padre Island Art Gallery

A recent member of the Corpus Christi community, Mellissa Mitchell opened the only gallery on the island in July 2021. The gallery represents 80 local artists, giving them an outlet to not only grow but to share and sell their work. With the implementation of marketing through social media, the gallery has been able to ship across the U.S. The gallery also offers a wide variety of art classes for children and adults. Melissa Mitchell hopes to continue to bring forward the amazing talents of local artists and host fun events for residents and visitors like their monthly free event, Sip & Shop. Padre Island Art Gallery supports the Texas Sealife Center on a regular basis through its partnership with one of Padre’s artists, M Kelly Olsen, and they also support a variety of non-profit organizations through fund-raising events and activities.

Code Ninjas

Code Ninjas are one of the three winners of Astound Broadband’s First-Annual Small Business Initiative with the goal “to light that spark of love of coding and technology to kids in our community.” Their importance and impact in the community is shown through the ways in which kids blossom in their programs. Many parents praise Code Ninjas as one of the few after-school activities that stick with their children. Owner of Code Ninjas Sugar Land, Kalika Sinha, is on the board of PACE and Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. She also volunteers for the Fort Bend Education Foundation and the Lamar CISD Education Foundations, and other local organizations such as Unite & Inspire.

The First National Bank of McGregor

Originally founded in 1889 as The First National Bank of McGregor, TFNB Your Bank for Life is one of the oldest national banks in Texas. In the last 5-10 years, they’ve expanded their geographic footprint to include locations spanning McLennan County. Most recently, they’ve opened the first bank in East Waco in over 100 years. TFNB has partnerships with local universities, government organizations, non-profits, and community leaders to connect their clients to experts needed in each individual situation, effectively customizing each customer experience. They work with and support multiple non-profit organizations in the area and even started their own to help those who help others. TFNB’s Charity Champions program highlights and supports the great work of local nonprofits. To date, they support more than 49 charities through sponsorship, marketing, and leadership development.

Harvard Ave Realty

Harvard Ave Realty a leading apartment rental agency led by CEO David Sugarman, was nominated for its exceptional services to landlords and prospective tenants in the neighborhoods of Boston, Brookline and Newton, providing housing for thousands of individuals over the past 23 years.

This year Harvard Ave Realty is creating a non-profit focused on providing dental care assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals so every person in need receives the dental care they require to maintain good oral health and ultimately improve their overall quality of life.

*No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the Small Business Saturday Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents 18 years of age or older in areas that Astound Business Solutions (Astound) serves. To enter, all participants must provide valid, up-to-date contact information by submitting the form above. All entries must be received during the period of November 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023 (“Sweepstakes Period”). The complete list of prizes and all additional information about the sweepstakes can be found in the Official Rules and FAQs documents.

Each Nominator represents that they have the Nominee’s permission to enter him/her into this sweepstakes and to grant all rights associated with Nominee and Nominee’s attributes as set forth herein. Nominators are responsible for confirming whether the Nominee or his/her employer has any policies or restrictions concerning participation in this sweepstakes. The awarding of prizes is subject to such policies. If, for any reason, any Nominee is unable to accept a prize, or does not agree to these Official Rules, the prize will be forfeited, and Astound will not have any further obligation to such Nominee. The complete list of prizes and all additional information about the sweepstakes can be found in the Official Rules.