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Florida-Based Jewelry Retailer Cares for Community Through Fifth C Foundation

International Diamond Center prioritizes philanthropy, making a commitment to positively impact their community year-round.

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IDC Sarasota celebrated its grand opening by promising to support the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota & DeSoto counties.
IDC Sarasota celebrated its grand opening by promising to support the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota & DeSoto counties.

EACH YEAR, OUR December Real Deal tells a story that brings to mind the amazing privilege afforded us by our industry to make a difference in our communities, and that reminds us why we do what we do. This year, we are honored to tell the story of International Diamond Center, a diamond retailer that stands as a beacon of excellence and integrity. They are on a mission to build a legacy of giving back to the communities they serve.

In the realm of diamonds, International Diamond Center (IDC) doesn’t just curate the world’s most renowned brands in jewelry; they craft a legacy of giving back. With over four decades of experience as a wholesaler, the spirit of philanthropy courses through the DNA of IDC’s founder and owner, Keith Leclerc. This passion for giving has taken tangible form through The Fifth C Foundation, a beacon of hope and compassion for communities in need.

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An Idea Sparked by Passion and Perseverance

To understand the authenticity behind IDC’s charitable ventures, you must first understand Keith’s journey. At the age of 21, the Massachusetts native ventured off to the sunny shores of Clearwater, Florida, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. After stints with BMW and Audi, Keith found his true calling in diamonds and gold.

With a meager investment, he embarked on a path that would ultimately lead to the creation of IDC. “Knowing absolutely nothing about jewelry, I invested $600 into eight gold chains,” he recounts. The gamble paid off, fueling Keith’s insatiable curiosity and determination.

From Mines to Main Street: A Journey of Excellence

Keith Leclerc

Keith Leclerc

Keith’s odyssey in the diamond industry took him from the mines of South America to the bustling streets of major cities. He transformed from a novice to a revered diamond buyer, earning respect and trust from peers in the industry.

His adventures extended beyond the borders of the U.S., with pivotal trips to São Paulo, Brazil, in 1987. These journeys solidified his position as a player in the global diamond trade. With cutting facilities in Brazil and Israel, Keith established a seamless supply chain, providing polished diamonds to industry giants like Charles Wolf and Harry Winston.

In 1990, Keith realized his dream by opening the first International Diamond Center in Clearwater. His extensive experience in every facet of the industry, from mining to retail, positioned IDC as a thriving entity even during economic downturns.

Today, IDC is made up of twelve locations spanning from Clearwater, Florida to Savannah, Georgia, with ambitious plans for further expansion.

The Fifth C Foundation: Caring and Community

While the world knows the traditional “Four Cs” of diamonds, at IDC, there’s a fifth: Caring and Community. This is the ethos that underpins The Fifth C Foundation, reflecting the Leclerc family’s deep devotion to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve.

This commitment goes beyond seasonal gestures. It’s a year-round endeavor, a continuous labor of love that infuses every facet of IDC’s operations.

For Keith Leclerc and his family, success is not merely measured in diamonds, but in the impact they have on communities. The Fifth C Foundation embodies their dedication to philanthropy. This foundation is a living testament to the Leclerc family’s values and their allegiance to causes close to their hearts.

Supporting military families, giving kids a chance, and fighting to end human trafficking are the three pillars of The Fifth C Foundation. This genuine passion for helping others resonates in every facet of IDC’s operations.

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A Family United in Service

Keith’s motto, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” is the driving force behind IDC’s community-centric approach. His belief in giving back to the community, especially in nurturing the future of children, supporting America’s veterans, and stopping human trafficking is a beacon of inspiration. The Leclerc family is not one to merely write checks and move on. Instead, they roll up their sleeves and dive into the causes they hold dear.

Peggy, Keith’s wife, is a stalwart presence at New Life Solutions, a pregnancy crisis center. Her dedication to supporting women facing critical decisions is a testament to her compassionate spirit.

Keith himself stands firmly behind Operation Healing Forces, an organization that holds a special place in his heart. This nonprofit is dedicated to aiding America’s Special Operation Forces, whose sacrifices often go unseen.

Their daughter, Ashley, lends her time and energy to the Boys & Girls Club, offering guidance and mentorship to young minds yearning for direction.

Brian Stamey, a dedicated member of the IDC team, wears multiple hats. He serves on boards such as Academy Prep Centers for Education, a nonprofit organization that offers need-based scholarships to students. These scholarships provide underprivileged children with free schooling for up to 11 hours a day, 11 months of the year. His fervent belief in this cause is palpable, and his efforts are instrumental in driving change.

Florida-Based Jewelry Retailer Cares for Community Through Fifth C Foundation

Managers As Community Champions

The passion for community service ripples through every level of IDC’s organization. Managers, inspired by The Fifth C Foundation’s mission, dedicate their time to serving on boards that resonate with their own sense of purpose.

The alignment of purpose is key. For IDC, it’s about more than just giving; it’s about making a lasting impact on the issues that tug at their hearts. Once IDC forges a partnership with a nonprofit organization, it becomes a lasting bond that endures over the years. Among the distinguished list of nonprofits they have steadfastly supported are notable institutions like Boys & Girls Clubs, UF Health Shands Hospital, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, FARA Energy Ball, Save the Kids Foundation, Children’s Dream Fund, Dali Museum, Academy Prep Centers for Education, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Operation Healing Forces, New Life Solutions, March of Dimes, and the Make a Wish Foundation.

A Legacy of Love and Light

For Keith Leclerc, the mission extends beyond his own lifetime. His vision is to pass down not only the family business but also the legacy of giving and caring to his grandchildren. He yearns to leave an indelible mark on the community that has embraced and supported him for 40 years.

Amongst his loyal staff, Keith is regarded not only as a respected businessman but as a humble man with unyielding tenacity, unwavering faith, and a heart that knows no bounds. These values have become the cornerstone of his family and have solidified him as a beloved pillar in the community he holds so dear.

In the heart of every diamond, in every philanthropic endeavor, there is a glimmer of hope, a spark of compassion that transcends the material. Through The Fifth C Foundation, IDC isn’t just in the business of selling diamonds; they’re in the business of illuminating lives with love and light.

Florida-Based Jewelry Retailer Cares for Community Through Fifth C Foundation

IDC begins every day with a prayer (top image), and every charity event is a family affair, grandkids included (bottom image).

IDC begins every day with a prayer (top image), and every charity event is a family affair, grandkids included (bottom image).

Keith is now preparing the next generation to take the reins of the company, ensuring that the spirit of generosity and excellence lives on. His family members are deeply involved in learning and embracing the industry and business that Keith holds dear. The atmosphere within IDC is like a tight-knit family, where every staff member, from the seasoned gemologist to the newest apprentice, is embraced as kin. This familial bond extends to every customer who walks through their doors. It’s this nurturing environment that inspires not just the Leclercs, but every member of the IDC family, to participate wholeheartedly in their charitable endeavors.

The Leclerc family credits their strong religious faith for the success of their charitable efforts. Their belief in the intrinsic value of every individual, as well as their commitment to service, is woven into the fabric of IDC. This faith is not just a belief system; it’s a guiding force that drives their mission to make a difference.

The legacy of IDC lives on in the lives they touch and the communities they uplift. Every gemstone they select, every piece they craft, and every cause they support is infused with a deep sense of purpose and care. In an industry where glitz and glamor often take center stage, IDC stands apart. They remind us that true brilliance isn’t just about the sparkle of a diamond; it’s about the light we bring to the world through acts of kindness. As Keith extends his legacy to his grandchildren, he leaves behind a blueprint for a life well-lived — one defined by love, generosity, and an unwavering dedication to community.

International Diamond Center’s story is one of triumph in the realm of diamonds and in the transformative power of giving. Through the Fifth C Foundation, Keith and his family are leaving an indelible mark on the lives of veterans, children, and communities in need. Their diamonds will forever stand as symbols of hope, illuminating a path of compassion for generations to come.

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