Retailer of the Week: Steven Singer Jewelers

The words “never
forget” are the central message of a 9-11 remembrance pin retail jeweler Steven
Singer created and manufactured to raise more than $250,000 for the Flight 93
memorial and national park currently under construction in Shanksville,
Pennsylvania. As the country looks ahead to the tenth anniversary of the 9-11
terrorist attacks, Singer and his staff want to raise another $1 million
through pin sales for the memorial site. These ambitious charitable goals have
earned Singer, owner of Steven Singer Jewelers, the title of “Retailer of the
Week.”

Steven
Singer, owner of Steven Singer Jewelers, presented Michael Smerconish of
WPHT’s
‘The Big Talker,’ with a check for $200,000.

If Singer and his
staff do reach this lofty goal next September, it’ll be a monumental
achievement based on the large dollar amount raised by the Philadelphia-based
jeweler. But equally impressive is managing the logistics behind an estimated
$1.25 million-plus contribution earned in $10 increments over a three-year
period.  

The 9-11 pin campaign got its start last
fall. As a Dial Global and CBS Radio advertiser on Michael Smerconish’s
talk-radio show, Singer created special-edition commemorative Flight 93 pins
for everyone on the host’s bus trip to the crash site on September 11,
2009. 

The
actual 9-11 pin design.

Each
person on the sold-out bus tour received a complimentary copy of Smerconish’s
book “Instinct:
the Man Who Stopped the 20th Hijacker,” and a Flight 93 pin courtesy of
Singer. In the lead up to the site visit, Smerconish made an innocuous on-air
comment, saying he wished more pins could be made available for those other
than the people booked on the bus tour. Prompted by that single statement,
Singer created a new 9-11 remembrance pin design and began a large-scale sales
campaign in late August last year.  

Smerconish
partnered with Singer to get the 2009 campaign off the ground. During the five
weeks the pins were on sale last year, Singer raised $30,000 (3,000 pins at $10
per unit) for the memorial. A longer sales period plus a more aggressive
campaign push arlier this year raised another $206,710 (20,671 pins at $10 per
unit) for the Flight 93 National Memorial.  

With
100 percent of the proceeds for each $10 pin sale going to the national
memorial campaign, plus Singer covering the cost of shipping ($1.50 per unit),
the jeweler’s total contribution to date is close to $275,000.

That
amount combined with the $1 million in anticipated sales next year would make
Signer’s campaign one of the largest public fundraising efforts to the national
memorial. “Since September 11, 2001, I, like most Americans, felt helpless and
very much wanted to help make a difference in some small way,” says Singer. “I
feel so blessed, and so lucky to be part of this. We play such a tiny, tiny,
part in the memorial, I can’t even tell you how lucky we are.”

The
National Park Service campaign goal is to raise $58 million to complete the
Flight 93 memorial and its surrounding national park. It is the first time in
the nation’s history that the entire national memorial/national park will be a
designed landscape, according to Jeffery Reinbold, a member of the National
Park Service.

An
artist’s rendering of the proposed Flight 93 National Memorial and park.

In
the last two years, pin orders have come in from all over the country. But
roughly half of the pins were sold in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
and New York. Pins are only available for sale from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30,
according to LeeAnn Jacobs, marketing and PR director for Steven Singer
Jewelers.

“We
could sell the pins year-round,” says Jacobs. “But if we keep the pin sales
open from the month before and the weeks after the anniversary of the 9-11
attacks, it makes the sale of the pins that much more meaningful for people.”

Since
fall 2009, Singer has received hundreds of letters and emails sending notes of
thanks for his efforts to help build the memorial, including family members of
9-11 victims. Each autumn, Ed Root, the brother of Lorraine Bay, one of the
Flight 93 crew members who died on that day, personally thanks Singer and his
staff for their hard work and dedication.

Much
of the park was once a surface mine scarred by the search for coal; tons of
soil and old-growth forests had been removed. The Memorial will be the
centerpiece of a 2,220-acre park, one of the newest in the National Park
system. Phase I of the memorial is set to be completed by the tenth anniversary
of 9-11. To date, $18 million has already been raised, and $12 million more is
needed to complete Phase 2 of the construction. 

For
more information on the memorial, please go to www.honorflight93.org.