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NEW YORK -- Two local Country Fair stores raised a record amount of money for the local Muscular Dystrophy Association through the sale of shamrocks and various other fundraisers between Feb. 15 and March 22, according to a report in the New York-based Observer.
The Pomfret location raised $10,663 to shatter its previous record of $6,162 in 2008, and a store in Brocton raised $2,360, up from its 2008 effort of $1,596, the report stated.
"Obviously we did a lot better—more than $10,000. Customers could purchase a shamrock or they just gave their change and we had a couple bake sales and candy sales, but mostly it was the generosity of our customers," Shirley Anderson, store manager in Pomfret, said in the report. "I think it was my clerks' enthusiasm about it. They have to be behind it 100 percent because if they're not, the customers aren't going to be. It was a combination of generous customers and friendly clerks."
Over the last five years, the Pomfret Country Fair location raised $30,888 and the Brocton store raised $9,434 for children and adults living with neuromuscular diseases, the Observer reported. Collectively, the 75 Country Fair Stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York helped raised more than $124,000 in 2009 for Jerry's Kids through the shamrock sale, which began this year in the middle of February.
Additionally, in High Point, N.C., one of 21 locally owned Pop Shoppe CITGO stations also raised money through the Shamrocks Against Dystrophy program, totaling $5,200, which is enough to send six children with debilitating neuromuscular diseases to camp, according to the company.
"We know the economy is bad," said Pat St. Louis, manager of the Kivett Drive Pop Shoppe CITGO station. "But we absolutely believe that if you give, you will receive. My niece has muscular dystrophy, and I’ve seen how much she gets out of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Camp, so we are very much committed to helping as many kids as we can throughout the year."
To raise as much money as possible, the store instituted an "every customer, every time" policy, which helped it beat the target of $4,000.
"We asked people to donate every time they came in the store," said St. Louis. "Even if they are one of our regular customers who come in every day, you never know when they might have a little extra money."
In coordination with local petroleum distributor Mid-State Petroleum Inc., Pop Shoppe CITGO stores across the High Point, N.C., area raised approximately $18,000 for MDA this year through CITGO Petroleum’s Shamrocks Against Dystrophy program. These funds are matched, dollar for dollar, by CITGO.