‘Round up’ for CHKD

Published 9:51 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

“Round Up”: Cashier Anita Costley, right, bags groceries for customer Brenda Harrell at the Farm Fresh on North Main Street in Suffolk during last year’s “Round Up” campaign. Farm Fresh is offering its customers the opportunity to round their bill up to the next dollar and donate the change to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Farm Fresh extends fundraiser for cancer research, treatment

Farm Fresh customers will have extra days to “round up” their grocery bills to support cancer research and treatment at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Farm Fresh decided to extend its 11th annual “Round Up” fundraiser through April 2 because of the “overwhelmingly positive response from customers,” according to a press release from CHKD.

“We’ve had a lot of great success so far,” said Sarah Redfield, community relations manager for Farm Fresh.

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The program originally was supposed to run until March 27.

During the program, Farm Fresh customers are encouraged to round up their totals to the next dollar or higher, and the difference is donated to the cancer program at CHKD.

Redfield said it was “a plea from our associates to us” to extend the Round Up because they were having such success.

“I think it’s become a real tradition for their staff as well as their customers,” said Karen Gershman, executive director of development at CHKD. “It was one of those fundraising projects that caught fire.”

Farm Fresh has 43 stores in Hampton Roads, Richmond and Elizabeth City, N.C. All of the stores, except the Richmond store, are participating in the Round Up. Farm Fresh has two stores in Suffolk.

Redfield said although there are some “superstars” among the three store districts in Hampton Roads, there is a “very stiff competition between all three.”

CHKD serves about 500 cancer patients, and there are about 70 new diagnoses a year, according to CHKD public relations manager Greg Raver-Lampman.

“The sum that it takes to take care of these patients is huge,” Gershman said.

In the past 10 years, the Round Up fundraisers have gathered $6.2 million.

“It’s amazing what small change — whether it’s 14 cents or 48 cents — can do,” Gershman said.

This year’s total donation will be kept secret until the end of the campaign.

“We even keep (CHKD) in suspense,” Redfield said.

The stores try to raise more money than the year before, she said. Last year, they donated more than $300,000.

“It’s refreshing to know our customers have the same feeling of wanting to help the kids,” Redfield said.

There are no plans in place as to how Farm Fresh will present the money to CHKD, Redfield said, but it should be done four to six weeks after the Round Up ends.