Oak Brook, Ill.,
14:00 PM

#MyLocalAce – "We believed in Andy's fighting spirit."

When Andrew Toner of Sunshine Ace Hardware suffered a tragic accident, his colleagues and customers came together to support his long road to health.


In celebration of reaching 5,000 Ace stores across the globe, we’ll be sharing short stories from local Ace stores from around the world. Have a story you would like to share about your Ace? We want to hear it! Tell us your story using the hashtag #mylocalace on social media.

Sunshine Ace team member Andrew Toner was nearly killed when his bicycle collided with a truck on his way to work. He was airlifted to a hospital where he remained in a coma for 29 days. His long recovery included months of therapy to learn how to talk and walk again.

Hearing that their team member was in a tragic accident stirred emotion and action with the team back at Sunshine Ace Hardware. Even associates at other Sunshine Ace locations, some of whom had never met Andy, offered up their vacation time to help with his months out of work. The team knew they couldn’t help Andy at the hospital, but could help him back at Sunshine Ace, and so they organized a fundraiser to help cover his medical expenses.

“I was amazed by the outpouring of support and caring by our staff and customers,” said Tom Brown of Sunshine Ace Hardware. “People were constantly checking in on him, asking ‘how can we help?’ and ‘How’s Andy?’ We believed in Andy’s fighting spirit. When people would ask me if he was out of the hospital I wouldn’t say no, I’d say not yet, after all, n-o are the first two letters in not yet.”

Now 15 months after the accident, Andy has returned to Sunshine Ace and the team couldn’t be more proud of his recovery and desire to work again. In addition to his work schedule, Andy likes to spend his days off volunteering at the homeless shelter and hospital, so thankful for his second chance to help others. Tom is happy to have his faithful employee back stating, “We’re not just a family owned business, we’re all ‘family" at Sunshine Ace.’