News Release
 January 11, 2024
CONTACT: Kathy Sautter
716 635 5577

Williamsville, N.Y. –Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont, is pleased to once again announce a unique opportunity for students in grades 3rd-8th grade to shine! February is Black History Month and for over three decades Tops has been proud to salute and educate the community about those who have accomplished remarkable achievements in their lifetime. Now it is your turn as the youth of America to honor those in your own lives whom you admire most who are of African American descent...your mom, pastor, coach - even your big brother. Please submit a paragraph, or more, by Feb. 16, 2024 describing why they are someone you look up to for a chance to win not only $100 for your school, but a $50 Tops gift card for yourself so that you can treat your family, or the person nominated, to a special dinner and dessert. “Tops has been dedicated to educating the community about Black History Month for the past three decades, and the past several years we were overwhelmed by the heartfelt essays we received that we thought we’d once again encourage the youth of our community to share with us whom they admire,” said Kathy Sautter, director, corporate communications and public relations for Tops. “We hope that area educators embrace this unique opportunity to open up important dialogue with their students.” For more details on the contest, please visit for contest rules and deadlines for submission.

In addition to this year’s contest we will also be welcoming Zeneta Everhart, one of the first female members of the Buffalo Common Council since 2014, to lead story time and a free book giveaway at our Tops located at 355 Orchard Park Road in West Seneca, on Saturday, February 24 from 2:00-3:00pm. Zeneta and her son Zaire launched a Book Club in 2022 to better educate our children after the racist mass shooting at the Tops located on the East Side of Buffalo where Zeneta’s son, Zaire, was a victim. Thankfully he survived this horrible act of violence and today he and his mother are working toward fostering a new generation of inclusive and compassionate leaders. ###

About Tops Friendly Markets Based in Williamsville, NY, Tops Markets currently operates 148 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. As the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with over 14,000 associates, the company is dedicated to providing sustainably sourced, high-quality products, while helping its communities flourish via support for programs that eradicate hunger and disease, educate youth and reduce environmental waste and energy consumption. For more information, visit

About Zeneta and Zaire’s Book Club When a white supremacist opened fire at a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday, May 14th, Zeneta Everhart's son Zaire was the first person shot. Zaire was helping an elderly woman with her cart, when he was shot in the neck. By a miracle, he survived. 10 others were targeted and killed simply because of the color of their skin. When asked how our country can do better, Zeneta repeated one thing: educating our children. From a young age, she says kids need to learn about race and racism and black history, so that we can foster a new generation of inclusive and compassionate leaders. By purchasing a book from their Amazon Wish list, you're investing in that vision. Zeneta and Zaire will distribute these books to community centers, schools, and local organizations to start these conversations at a grassroots level here in Buffalo, N.Y.


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