Suffolk Walmart No. 2 in nationwide fundraiserPublished 10:22pm Thursday, May 31, 2012
The downtown Suffolk Walmart is asking for the community’s help reaching its goal of being the No. 1 fundraising store in the nation for its local children’s hospital.
Walmart stores throughout the nation are furiously raising money through a number of avenues. The money from each store will be donated to its local children’s hospital.
Locally, the money will be directed to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.
But the Suffolk store currently ranks No. 2 in the nation, trailing behind a store in Arizona that currently has it beat by about $800. It also finished No. 2 in last year’s contest, getting beat by an Atlanta store by a heartbreaking $104.
“We’re trying to be No. 1, so we need everybody’s help,” store manager Amanda Powell said on Thursday.
So far, the Suffolk store has collected about $56,000, she added. A dinner sale is planned for Saturday to help bring in more cash.
The fundraising started on May 1, and the Suffolk store has conducted a silent auction, yard sale, food sales and other fundraisers, including locking up people in a mock jail and asking customers for donations to get them out.
“There’s always something going on,” Powell said, adding that there also are T-shirts for sale for $10 in front of the jewelry department.
In addition to the special events, cashiers are asking customers for donations at the registers.
“Without those cashiers, there’s no way we could have raised the money we’ve raised,” Powell said, also recognizing the customers who have donated and many businesses who gave silent auction items.
Several of the top cashiers said they are so eager to help raise money because they have had children or grandchildren treated at CHKD.
“It’s a personal thing,” said Marilyn Knight, whose child had to stay at the hospital for about a year as an infant. “You never know when you or somebody you know might need them.”
Minda Harris and Donna Pierce, also top fundraisers, said they had grandchildren and a child, respectively, who have been treated in CHKD.
“It’s very personal to most of our associates because they’ve known somebody or had their kids (treated) there,” shift manager Tiffinie Hoagland said.
Larissa Trinder, director of corporate relations and special events for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, said the hospital is excited that so many people are working hard to raise money. In the entire area, the goal is $1 million raised by the Walmarts.
“This is a real collective group effort by all our area Walmarts,” she said. “They’re trying really hard to get to that million-dollar level. How special it is that the Hampton Roads community as a whole comes together and creates such a huge impact.”
The money raised goes to the hospital’s radiology department, she added.
On Saturday, dinner sales will be held at the Walmart, 1200 N. Main St., catered by Ricky and Roy’s. Customers can choose barbecue or chicken with two vegetables, a roll and drink for $8. All the proceeds will go toward the fund. Dinner sales begin at 10 a.m. and last until the food is gone.
Customers can continue to donate through June 15. A receipt can be given for tax purposes.