Cashier Kayla Watson (left) and Assistant Manager Wesley Cook, backed up to a window of shamrocks at Jasper’s Piggly Wiggly. Shamrocks represent donations toward summer camp for Georgia kids with muscular dystrophy.
If you shop for groceries at Jasper's Piggly Wiggly store, you probably have noticed a wall of paper shamrocks plastered all over much of the manager's area. Each green or gold paper clover leaf represents a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign. The campaign concludes mid-March around St. Patrick's Day.
Despite the wall of shamrocks, still more are needed.
"We're going to have a shortfall," store manager Wade Calvert predicted. Store goal is $2,300. To now, donations total near $1,200.
"Due to hard times, we're coming up short," Calvert said. "We had a lot of corporate sponsors last year that aren't sponsoring us this time."
MDA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, is an organization with the mission of finding a cure for neuromuscular diseases affecting more than a million Americans. Entertainer, Jerry Lewis, became the face of MDA, hosting the organization's yearly telethon fundraiser each Labor Day weekend.
Calvert explained that money raised in the St. Patrick's Day drive sponsors kids afflicted with muscular dystrophy to a special summer camp designed around their needs. "It gets kids to camp and helps them buy new equipment they need," he said. The money also pays for transportation to camp and for needed therapy, he said.
Money raised locally helps Georgia kids, Calvert explained. "All the money raised for MDA [at Piggly Wiggly Jasper] stays in the state of Georgia and helps local kids," he said.
And, for each dollar donated, the contributor receives a raffle ticket. One lucky ticket holder won a dinner for four at Dos Margaritas Mexican restaurant in Jasper. The drawing for the meal happened Monday, when Desiree Lombardy of Bent Tree came up the winner. Another prize still waits to be awarded: a Sprite Spark Parks Bike, a fender-less, silver, classic-styled two-wheeler. The draw for the bicycle comes Sunday, March 18, when a second lucky ticket holder will ride away as the winner.
"We've raised enough out of ten stores to send eight kids to camp so far," Calvert said. "Last year we raised $16,000 and sent
Jasper's Piggly Wiggly is one store owned by parent company Rockdale Grocery. All stores combine efforts in the St. Patrick’s day drive for MDA kids.
"With the hard times, people having no money, we haven't done as well as we've wanted," cashier Kayla Watson said. "But we appreciate the people who have donated––some several times."