Local family owned beer distributor brings in new sponsors to help festival YPSILANTI – When O&W Inc. first supported the beloved Ann Arbor Summer Festival 27 years ago, Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It” hit #1 on the Billboard music chart, gas was $.81 a gallon, and the world got its first introduction to the mobile phone. “Some things don’t change at O&W: One, I will always have my beard and two, O&W will always support our community by supporting events like the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which brings so many people together to enjoy some good, family fun,” said O&W President Jim Wanty, who has grown a beard since he graduated high school. O&W Inc., a fourth generation beer distributor since 1933, is excited to continue its support of the 2010 Ann Arbor Summer Festival that runs from June 18 – July 11. And this year, O&W has stepped up its sponsorship with supplier partners to support the After Dark Series. This year O&W is the Rock Series Sponsor. “O&W is proud to support the Ann Arbor Summer Festival because it helps make our community vibrant and a destination for people from all over the region, which is exactly what we need in today’s economy,” said Morgeson, Wanty’s daughter and the fifth generation of the family to work at the family owned beer distributor. “Our family business has been a partner with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival since I was nine, and we’re very proud to continue being a part of this popular community tradition.” “This year, we asked our supplier partners to join our efforts in sponsoring the festival. Miller and Sierra Nevada have joined us in the Series Sponsorship, and we were able to get Heineken and Mike’s Hard Lemonade to sponsor the After Dark Series on Friday and Saturday nights. We hope that people will come out this year to support the festival and the companies that help make it happen,” Wanty said. Morgeson and festival director, Amy Nesbit, were also instrumental in launching a new program at the festival in 2009, after they realized that the festival did not have a comprehensive bottle return program. After overwhelming participation from the festival staff and help from the O&W team, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival was able to return over 30,000 bottles and cans to be recycled that year. At this year’s festival, O&W will also host a tent party for employees and their families. Go to www.annarborsummerfestival.org to learn more about this year’s festival. An active member of the Ann Arbor‐Ypsilanti community, O&W currently employs around 100 people in good‐paying jobs with benefits, and generates about $47 million in sales. Each year, O&W pays more than $1.5 million in taxes to the State of Michigan. The company also donates over $50,000 annually to local charities and events. O&W is recognized as an industry leader by its suppliers, winning MillerCoors “Distributor of the Year” award in 2006 and the “High Life Achievement Award” in 2009 and 2008, in its volume class. O&W celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008 and currently employs its 5th generation of the Wanty family.