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BAY CITY, Mich. -- Erin Kappen, an employee at the 7-Eleven convenience store in Essexville, Mich., received a check for $711 on Monday simply because her baby boy, Parker John VanWormer, weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces upon his arrival on Oct. 4.
Kappen, 22, of Bay City, learned of the award last week. "I had no idea they were going to give me a check," said Kappen, who's been a part-time employee at the store for about 18 months. "I never knew that they had a program like that."
Any associate of Garb-Ko Inc., a licensee of 7-Eleven convenience stores, who has a baby weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces receives the $711 gift.
Not only was the gift a first for Kappen, it was a first for her boss, as well. "I think it's the first time it has ever happened in Bay City," said Jack MacKenzie, franchisee of the Essexville 7-Eleven. MacKenzie said he's happy for Kappen because she has been off work for about six weeks and hasn't received a paycheck during that time.
Kappen said she and her boyfriend, Shawn VanWormer, Parker's father, are grateful for the gift. She said she hopes to use a portion of the money to open a bank account for Parker and pay some bills.
Larry Hauck, director of marketing for Garb-Ko Inc., said the company gives out the award more often than people might think. "It's not something that happens every day, but through the 26 years that I have been with this company, it has happened several times," he said.