Michigan foam company FloraCraft surprises employees with $4M in Christmas bonuses

LUDINGTON, Mich. -- The employees of Michigan-based foam producer FloraCraft got an unexpected surprise during a holiday lunch: roughly $20,000 each.

In the past, employees were given holiday bonuses of ham, turkey, or a gift card of their choice, but not this year!

On Friday, owner and chairman Lee Schoenherr, 83, announced that he planned to share nearly $4 million with his 200 full-time employees.

"I believe strongly in giving back to the community by supporting initiatives that make Ludington a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family," Schoenherr said in a news release. "A few years ago, I began thinking that I would like to do something more targeted for our employees, who really are the heart and soul of FloraCraft. This idea has developed over the past year and is my way of saying 'Thank you' to our team for the role they have had in our success. But don't think this means I'm exiting or selling the business - I love what I do and am committed to maintaining the independence of FloraCraft."

The generous gift was shared in two ways: 75 percent in the employees' 401(k) and the rest as a cash gift.

The money will be divided among employees based on tenure; for some, the total exceeds $60,000.

"Lee Schoenherr is an amazing man, generous man, who grew up here in Ludington," Eric Erwin, President CEO FloraCraft told WZZM. "He represents the best of the community."

"My wife, Joan, and I are blessed in so many ways. We want to share these blessings with the men and women whose energy, passion and loyalty inspire us every day," Schoenherr said.

Workers are also going back to school next year after company officials said they plan to pay for financial planning classes.
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