The Associated Builders and Contractors honored its Pennsylvania chapter with the Grassroots Member of the Year Award.

WASHINGTON - Associated Builders and Contractors' Pennsylvania chapter was presented with the Grassroots Member of the Year Award during its June 8-9 legislative xonference.

"In previous years, ABC's national executive committee has always bestowed this prestigious honor upon a single ABC member," said Carole L. Bionda, the association's national chairwoman. "However, this year, the dedication, passion and tenacity demonstrated by a group of ABC members from ABC's five Pennsylvania chapters and the Cumberland Valley chapter forced us to reconsider the way in which this award is presented."

The award recognizes ABC of Pennsylvania's support for U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's primary. Two months prior to the primary election, Toomey trailed Specter in the polls by 26 points. In response, ABC of Pennsylvania increased its efforts, helping to almost close the gap by election day.

"Representative Toomey may not have won the election," said Bionda, "but the active involvement of the merit-shop ABC members sent a message across the political landscape that ABC will be an aggressive advocate for the candidate who best exemplifies the free-enterprise values that make this nation strong."

ABC also recognized Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.) and Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) with the 2004 Free Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award. Ballenger and Nickles were honored for their commitment to public service and support for ABC's principles, the association said.