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Cigar Store Wins Community Award

A Kansas City, Missouri, cigar shop that led the movement to change the city smoking ban has received a Community Business of the Year award.

Outlaw Cigar Co. was honored on December12 at the 18th annual Job Development Awards Luncheon sponsored by the Platte County Economic Development Council.

Kendall Culbertson, owner of Outlaw Cigar, spent several months fighting the Kansas City smoking ban that went into effect in June 2007. He asked members of the City Council's Public Safety Committee to exempt tobacco stores from the ban, urging them to consider tobacco stores' benefits to the local economy, and to recognize his store's charity work. The smoking ordinance was revised by the city council in September 2008 after the proposal received an endorsement from the public safety panel.

Culbertson believes that it was the council members' consideration of Outlaw Cigar's contributions that led to its nomination.

Outlaw Cigars holds monthly events for various charities that often draw around 2,000 guests. The store has partnered with several organizations, including the American Red Cross, Bikers for Babies and the Wounded Warrior Project. Culberstson specifically targets people who serve his community and his country; the store hosts many charitable events for the police and fire departments, and sends cigars and other gifts to U.S. soldiers deployed overseas.

"I think this is a model that every cigar store should follow," said Culbertson. "Whenever your state is talking about a ban or raising tobacco taxes, if you are invaluable to your community, then they [may] spare you big harm."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Source: Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Store Wins Community Award