A donation to the St. Susan Center has been made on behalf of Jamestown residents Peter and Mary Ann Carlo and Tops Markets in a partnership that is becoming a holiday tradition.
Last year, Carlo approached the manager of Tops Markets on Foote Avenue with a challenge to match his donation of $500 to the St. Susan Center. Edward Armstrong, store manager at the time, met the challenge and the St. Susan Center received a $1,000 donation that would allow the center to purchase food items for its guests over the holidays.
This year, Carlo upped his donation amount to $750, making the same challenge to Tops and its current store manager, Tim Snow. The challenge was accepted and a donation was made by both the Foote Avenue and the Washington Street stores in the amount of $375 each to match Carlo's $750.
The Carlo family and Tops Markets present a $1,500 donation to the St. Susan Center in the form of gift cards Saturday at Tops on Foote Avenue in Jamestown. Pictured, from left, are: Tim Snow, Tops store manager on Foote Avenue; Peter and Mary Ann Carlo, St. Susan Center donors; Kurt Gustafson, St. Susan Center board of directors president; and Lynette Abbott, Tops customer operations manager on Washington Street.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
On Saturday, the total amount of $1,500 was given to Kurt Gustafson, president of the St. Susan board of directors, in the form of 30 separate $50 gift cards. According to Gustafson, the St. Susan Center serves approximately 400 people on a daily basis during the autumn and winter months and this donation will go toward feeding them.
"On behalf of the St. Susan Center, I just want to thank Peter, Tim from Tops and their staff and employees for their generous and significant donation of the gift cards to help out at St. Susan's," he said. "We're primarly going to be able to use the cards to buy milk and fresh groceries to provide nutritious meals to all of our guests who visit the center. So, our greatest appreciation and thanks go out to Tops and Peter for their generosity over this holiday season."
Peter and Mary Ann are past volunteers at the St. Susan Center and are committed to the importance of keeping the soup kitchen going. The Carlos have also played the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus at Tops and the St. Susan Center for several years during the holiday season.
As for Tops Markets' role in this donation, Tim Snow explains that it is part of the company's philosophy.
"Tops is committed to giving back to the communities it serves," he said.
"It is in giving that we receive," said Pete Carlo. "We are trying to make this into a community effort because if we don't help ourselves out, who will? This is our contribution to the community."