Super Foods to #039;bag#039; funds for YMCA

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2005

As Executive Director of the YMCA Amanda Phillips sees lots of happy faces each day as she walks the halls of the newly relocated YMCA. This time it was her turn to smile when she was contacted recently by Phillip Graham, manager of Super Foods, telling her the locally owned grocery store was going to do a fundraiser to help pay off some of the Y’s debt on their new building.

&uot;It’s always wonderful when someone contacts you about a fundraiser they want to do for you,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;Mr. Graham was very instrumental with the (Greenville Academy) board in helping us get this building.&uot;

Graham, and the board of directors of Greenville Academy, which closed its doors recently due to declining enrollment, put together the plan to sell the old Academy building along with 19 acres to the Y, which had outgrown its old building at Beeland Park.

&uot;It’s a win-win for us,&uot; Graham said of the fundraiser. &uot;People ask us all the time to give to specific programs and Gerry Potoritis, who is the president of our grocery coop in Birmingham gave us this idea and we thought it was terrific.&uot;

The fundraiser works like this: on Saturday, April 16 when you present a coupon at checkout 5 percent of your total purchase will be donated to the YMCA. Phillips said the coupons would be issued by the YMCA only.

&uot;We’re going to do a mass mailing to all our members and we’re going to give the coupons out here at the Y to all parents of children who are involved in our programs here,&uot; she said. &uot;If someone wants a coupon to help support the Y they can come by the office and we’ll give them one.&uot;

Phillips also stressed that no coupons will be available at the store before the fundraiser or the day of the fundraiser so it’s important to bring the coupon with you when you visit the store on April 16.

Graham said he hopes this turns out to be a big deal for

the Y.

&uot;I hope this will be very meaningful to the YMCA,&uot; he said. &uot;I have a lot of personal investment in the Y and the YMCA is great for everybody in this community.&uot;

Phillips said the YMCA board and employees were going to be on hand the day of the event to show their thanks to Super Foods and its customers for supporting the Y.

&uot;We’re having t-shirts printed with Super Foods’ logo and the Y logo on them and our board and the Super Foods employees are going to wear them that day. Our board will also help bag groceries to show our thanks and support for what they’re doing.&uot;

John Wilson, owner of the Super Foods chain, said this project is indicative of the legacy of &uot;Mr.&uot; Jimmy Wilson’s philosophy about community involvement.

&uot;His philosophy was that if you want to be a part of the community and have people shop with you, you have to be willing to give back to the community,&uot; John Wilson said.

&uot;This is just one of the ways we help and give back to the community.

The YMCA is a great organization and we are pleased to be involved with this activity.&uot;

Allen Stephenson, who chairs the YMCA board of directors, said he was very thankful for what Super Foods is doing for the community’s YMCA.

&uot;We were floored when they said they would give 5 percent of each purchase,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re so grateful they were so generous to offer to give a percentage and 5 percent is just outstanding.&uot;

Super Foods is designating the day &uot;Community Building Day&uot; and hopes to duplicate the effort in the future. The YMCA is using the day to formally kick off its capital campaign where it will work to raise the remaining $500,000 to pay off the building and land. Stephenson said there will be other announcements forthcoming regarding the capital campaign and how businesses and individuals can participate.

Jay Thomas contributed to this report