Building materials suppliers 84 Lumber announced last Saturday the opening of its new, expanded location in Palmetto, Fla., about 15 miles north of Sarasota, with a circus-themed event at the site, located at 1315 17th Street East on Feb. 21.

In a Feb. 24 news release, 84 Lumber said the new location, formerly a Ringling Bros. property, has three 20,000-square-foot buildings on 10 acres. The company had previously operated out of a smaller facility in nearby Bradenton, directly south of Palmetto; the location employs more than 60 associates. 

"Our Florida presence has had a great impact on our business for many years," said 84 Lumber owner and CEO Maggie Hardy. "Outgrowing our Bradenton location is proof that we are not only determined to bring in more business but [also] dedicated to doing everything we can to make our customers successful and satisfied.” 

Along with festivities, 84 Lumber donated $100,000 to the Fisher House Foundation, which helps house veterans and military families seeking treatment at the nearby C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center. The donated funds are allocated for the organization’s goal of opening a second Fisher House home. 

The company said the second house will allow Bay Pines to provide more than 9,000 nights of lodging for families each year, saving more than a million dollars annually in lodging and transportation costs.

"We are humbled by the generosity of 84 Lumber and honored to be selected as the recipients of the donation," said Bay Pines VA Deputy Director Kristine Brown. "84 Lumber has been a benefactor of Fisher House around the country for many years, and this donation will make an immediate and lasting impact to the support and services our Fisher Houses offer Veterans and family members on the Bay Pines campus."

Attended by 84 Lumber customers, associates, vendor partners, and officials from state and local governments, guests enjoyed a circus-themed celebration, including food and entertainment like funnel cakes, popcorn, a caricature artist, and a hi-striker bell ringer. 

"We are very excited," said Buzz Bowman, general manager of the Sarasota location. "This larger footprint will provide us with the tools to continue growing in the market, and we look forward to a bright future ahead."

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