CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 29, Belk, Inc. will celebrate its 125 th anniversary throughout its 16-state footprint with festivities for customers at each of its 301 locations. Belk is excited to share this milestone with its local communities after 125 years of success as a Southern, family-owned and operated company with a dedication to the communities it serves. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130527/CL21077LOGO ) The first Belk location was opened on May 29, 1888 in Monroe, N.C. by William Henry Belk, grandfather to current Chairman and CEO Tim Belk and President and COO John R. Belk. Today, Belk is in its third generation of family ownership and continues to experience growth, with an increasing online business that offers "Modern. Southern. Style." to customers across the United States. "On this day we're celebrating our rich heritage over the last 125 years, but we also want to celebrate our bright future," says Tim Belk. "Today is about thanking our customers, associates and vendors for their support in the past and their partnership going forward." On May 29, each Belk store will hold a public in-store event at 9 a.m. local time including festive, interactive entertainment and giveaways. Special 125 th anniversary cupcakes will be served and commemorative gift cards ranging in value between $5-1,000 will be distributed to the first 100 customers to arrive at each store. Belk is celebrating its anniversary year throughout 2013, and is offering customers several opportunities to share in the festivities. More than 125 exclusive products are available for purchase in Belk stores and on belk.com from top Belk partners including Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Jessica Simpson, Sam Edelman and more. Customers can also register online to participate in 125 Days of Prizes, during which time Belk will award a prize valued from $500-6,500 every day until July 10. Customers can register on Belk's Facebook page or on belk125prizes.com. During 2013, Belk is also participating in 125 Days of Service. Through a $2 million partnership with the Points of Light Institute, Belk associates will work in local schools to bring "Modern. Southern. Style." to the schools through various makeover projects. The project concludes July 10 and will serve 225 schools throughout the Belk footprint. Belk will also be marking the anniversary with vendors at a special event on May 29 in Charlotte, N.C. For more information on Belk's 125 th anniversary, please visit belk.com/125 or belk.com/mediaroom. About Belk Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. ( belk.com) is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. Each year, Belk gives a portion of its pretax income back to the communities it serves. In fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the company and its associates, customers and vendors, donated more than $19 million to those communities. Belk.com offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk go to Belk Get Connected.