OXFORD — Jeff and Debbie MacDonald were recognized for their contributions to the community during an Oxford City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 20. Mayor Kate Rousmaniere read a proclamation declaring Saturday, July 8, Jeff and Debbie MacDonald Day.
According to the proclamation, for the past 32 years, the MacDonalds have worked as owners of Ace Hardware and Building Supply in Oxford and as advocates for the community.
They have sponsored the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Miami Athletics, and various local sport teams.
They were recognized by the Citizens of the Year selection committee in naming them the “Couple of the Year” in 2016.
They worked as the 2012 Co-Chairs of the Oxford United Way Drive and raised the most funds ever for Oxford beneficiaries.
Now, they are retiring from the daily store operations and are going to spend more time with family and friends, choosing now to take an even bigger role in the many volunteer opportunities Oxford has available.
In honor of their retirement, Mayor Rousmaniere declared Saturday, July 8 in their honor.
Following the proclamation, the MacDonalds took the podium to speak, even though they were nearly speechless. “We love this town,” Jeff MacDonald said. “We came here in 1981 and I worked for that little building next to Walmart, at that time it was called the Planning Executors Institute. I lost my job in 1985, it’s a long story. So, I was sending out applications for a new job in that career of the past. Nothing was coming forward. I said, ‘Why? We love Oxford, the kids love Oxford.’”
He heard that a store was being sold and on Oct. 8, 1985 he gave his wife a hardware store.
Through his tears, Jeff MacDonald added, “We do exemplify what retail should be in Oxford. We worked very hard. I want you all to know, that the people who purchased Ace Hardware Oxford, called E&H Hardware Group, are really a first class group. They own 20 small ACE Hardware stores in the northeast quadrant of Ohio. They have learned how to do it. They came up to us and knocked on our door, asked if we wanted to sell our store.
“That’s heavy, because sure, I’m 70 years old, Debbie is a little younger. It’s time, but the thought of you, and you, and you, and all of you — I’m not saying anymore. That’s hard.”
He finished, “I thank you. We thank you. ACE Hardware is a great place and it will continue to be. E&H Hardware Group hired all of our people and you know all of our people. They are very good people. The downside to this is, July 10 Deb and I have to go to ACE Hardware as part time employees and we have to clock in. I’m going to ask one of my current employees how to do that, the whole idea is that we really want the transition from us to them to be smooth. The customer service will be the same.
“We will slowly fade, from the store only. We are not fading from Oxford.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH
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