Sears Announces Awards Program for Builders Enabling the American Dream

International Builders' Show -- Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) today announced the creation of the Sears American Dream-Maker Awards to recognize professional builders and contractors whose charitable efforts are turning the American dream of home ownership and maintenance into a reality.

Sears will award a total of $50,000 to the winning contractors and home builders whose donations of time, talent and in-kind services from Oct. 1, 2002 through Sept. 30, 2003 helped increase home ownership in their communities.

"Through this awards program, which is an extension of the Sears American Dream Campaign announced in 2002, we are honoring home builders that help bring the American dream home for residents of their communities," said Lyle Heidemann, executive vice president and general manager, Sears, Roebuck and Co. "The Sears American Dream Campaign is only one solution to the home ownership crisis in America," he said. "Delivering the American dream is a community effort and there are home builders who deserve to be recognized for their actions."

A total of five awards, one in each of five categories, will be given in 2003. Entrants may nominate themselves or another into the following categories.

  1.) Builders with revenues over $1 billion;
  2.) Builders with revenues between $400 million and $999 million;
  3.) Builders with revenues between $100 million and $399 million;
  4.) Builders with revenues under $100 million;
  5.) Professional contractors/builders of a Minority-owned business.

Nominations will be judged by a panel of housing and community experts from local and national organizations including NeighborWorks, a not-for-profit network of more than 230 locally based affordable housing and community development organizations.

Judges will look for evidence of community service through a 1,000 words-or-less essay and support material such as a testimonial from a community official, as well as evidence of the impact that these positive actions have had on the community.

Each of the five Sears American Dream-Maker Awards winners will receive: A donation of $10,000 made in the recipient's name to the housing-related organization of their choice within their community, subject to approval by Sears, and a certificate or trophy noting their contribution and winning status.

Additionally, Sears reserves the right, but is not obligated, to highlight each of the five named recipients in the Sears booth at the 2004 International Home Builders' Show, other related home builder shows and expos, in Sears' advertising surrounding the 2004 Home Builders' Show, on the Sears American Dream Campaign and Sears Contract Sales web sites, and in press releases and ads that may be issued to the media. In addition, Sears will designate five honorable mentions in each of the five categories. These honorable mentions will receive certificates or trophies noting their contribution.

Entries can be submitted via mail or e-mail and must be received by 5 p.m. (EST) on Oct. 1, 2003. All essays and testimonials must be typewritten and submitted to: Sears American Dream-Maker Awards, c/o Hunter Public Relations, 41 Madison Avenue, Suite 500, New York, N.Y. 10010 or via e-mail to: . For official rules and more information visit or visit the company's booth # C4111 at the International Builders' Show, Las Vegas Convention Center, Jan. 21-24, 2003.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. created the Sears American Dream Campaign in August 2002 in response to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) study which uncovered a gap in American home ownership. The minority home ownership rate is 18 percent lower than the national average, with less than 50 percent of African-Americans and Hispanics owning homes. The company's $100 million community commitment is helping to make home ownership and continued home maintenance a reality for all Americans.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, . In June 2002, Sears acquired Lands' End, a direct merchant of traditionally styled, classic Lands' End clothing offered to customers around the world through regular mailings of its specialty catalogs and online at .

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

CONTACT: Peggy A. Palter of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-8361

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