Lions charities boosted by donation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 10, 2006

Lions Sight charities have been given another boost with a recent donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation for $500.

Greenville Lion Bill McCrary, manager of the Greenville Wal-Mart Super Center, presented a check to Lions President Hubert Little at this week’s meeting at the Boys and Girls Club.

McCrary, who has been with Wal-Mart for 16 years, also shared his experiences of working with one of the world’s largest retailers with fellow members earlier this week.

&uot;Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart back in 1962, was a man who loved customer giveaways; he loved creating this sort of Barnum and Bailey-type atmosphere,&uot; McCrary said.

&uot;He was opening this store in Rogers, Arkansas on a summer day; it was about 100 degrees. He was offering free watermelons and donkey rides to the customers.&uot;

The intense heat soon caused the melons to split open, sending sticky juice all over the parking lot.

&uot;And the donkeys were doing what donkeys naturally do – and THAT along with all that juice was getting tracked right into the store. It was a mess,&uot; McCrary laughed.

David Glass, a prominent Arkansas businessman, saw the zoo-like situation at Walton’s grand opening.

&uot;Glass he was sure Walton would never be a success. Of course, he had to eat those words later, after he went to work for Sam Walton,&uot; McCrary said.

1962 saw the founding of four major discount outlets: Woolco, Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart.

&uot;Forty-four years later, we have approximately 5500 stores. The company has come far. You have to say Sam Walton was a visionary,&uot; McCrary said.

&uot;He didn’t dress the part of a millionare; you seldom saw him in tie. He loved to hunt, so if you went by the office to see him he just might be in his camouflage.&uot;

McCrary said the down-to-earth businessman didn’t mind borrowing ideas from others and could be &uot;ruthless&uot; when necessary.

&uot;Sam Walton didn’t tolerate complacency. He wanted productivity; he wanted honesty and integrity, and people who worked their schedules.&uot;

McCrary stressed the importance of local Wal-Marts supporting worthy causes in their communities.

&uot;There are many other stories I could tell; let me say we are trying to carry on Sam’s legacy and his vision. We do believe in supporting communities and their civic groups like the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Civitans and others,&uot; the store manager said.

&uot;The Wal-Mart Foundation makes these funds available to individual stores and we certainly should be taking advantage of these monies to help our communities. After all, we couldn’t do it without you.&uot;