In just two weeks, area Roadrunner stores and their customers raised $54,236 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — one $1 St. Jude Halloween card at time.
Joann Brickner and Julie Stewart, two of the top-selling cashiers in the St. Jude Halloween promotion, joined Roadrunner Markets president Ryan Broyles in presenting the donations to St. Jude on Thursday at the top money-raising store in the company’s four-state market region, store No. 132 located adjacent to East Tennessee State University.
Given St. Jude’s free care for children whose families cannot pay, its research for cures for childhood cancers and the cute young patients in pumpkin costumes pictured on its Halloween cards, store manager Pam Richey said the promotion was an easy sell. But it was a lot of good customers at the busy store on West Walnut Street to whom she gave the credit.
“Roadrunner Markets does a lot of fundraisers but this one is extra special,” Richey said. “We get a lot of customers who have a story, whether they received treatment at St. Jude as a child or they have a family member who was treated there; most of our customers are willing to give to this cause.”
Roadrunner cashiers invited customers to purchase and sign the cards for display inside the store. And when a dollar was too much, they suggested the customer instead chip in their change.
“It just goes to show how even spare change or a dollar here or there can really add up,” Broyles said. “I’m exited and proud of both our employees and our customers for donating to this wonderful cause.”
Bricker, who works at Roadrunner store No. 106 in Erwin, was the promotion’s top money-raising cashier, bringing in more than $700 for St. Jude and winning two tickets to the spring NASCAR race at Bristol for her efforts. Stewart was store No. 132’s top fundraiser, generating $470 in donations for St. Jude and claiming two University of Tennessee football tickets for her collection.
“It’s definitely special. They did a fantastic job,” St. Jude’s Regional Marketing Manager Graesa Amdahl said. Amdahl noted Roadrunner has been supporting St. Jude for a number of years and said Thursday’s gift more than tripled the company’s 2010 contribution to the research hospital and its affiliate clinics, including the St. Jude Clinic at the Niswonger Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center.