BAXTER - The Wal-Mart Supercenter in Baxter raised more than $51,000 for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
Every year, Walmart and Sam's Club stores raise money for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare through their partnership with Children's Miracle Network.
In 2008, the Baxter Wal-Mart store went above and beyond in their fundraising achievements, raising $51,887 for Gillette - the highest dollar figure in the store's history, and highest figure that any Wal-Mart or Sam's Club store in Minnesota has raised in one year.
The store exceeded its 2007 fundraising totals by $20,000, setting yet another record in dollar-amount increase from a previous year. During an April 2 store celebration, Gillette patient Parker Gordon-Kline, a fourth-grader in Longview, visited with Wal-Mart associates. Gordon-Kline goes to Gillette for treatment of cerebral palsy.
Each year, a trophy is awarded to the Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam's Club store that raises the highest total donations to benefit Gillette. This year, the Baxter Wal-Mart Supercenter not only received the trophy, it also was the first-ever store inducted into Gillette's "Miracle Club" an elite group of regional Wal-Mart stores that have surpassed the $50,000 mark.
Store Manager Kirk Helmberger said the store's success wouldn't be possible without its dedicated employees, who individually raise thousands of dollars, implement storewide fundraising initiatives and encourage customers to give to Gillette.
"Our employees have made a tremendous impact on the lives of children in Minnesota," Helmberger said. "I'm thrilled and inspired by their efforts, and by the support of the Baxter community, to help us reach and surpass the $50,000 mark."
Baxter Wal-mart employees raised money by selling Children's Miracle Network miracle balloon icons to shoppers at check-out. The store engaged in additional fundraising efforts throughout the year, including golf tournaments, a bowl-a-thon, employee bake sales and an in-store cotton candy and popcorn stands.
"We are immensely grateful for the fundraising efforts of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores on behalf of Gillette," said Becky Holst, Children's Miracle Network associate at Gillette. "Their support helps us provide life-changing medical care to children who need it most."
Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin collectively raised more than half a million dollars for Gillette in 2008.
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