In six weeks, the Sam's Club store on Fairmount Avenue raised $17,913 for the Children's Miracle Network.
The store held a presentation on Wednesday which featured photographs from various fundraising events. Store employees presented a check to Donna Walentynowicz of the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
Darcie McLachlan, club manager, said that store employees worked hard to raise the funds.
Pictured are, from left, Joe Mohrhaus, marketing manager; Donna Walentynowicz of the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo; Darcie McLachlan, club manager; Lynn Gore, Children’s Miracle Network fundraising captain; and Toni Bellitto, community involvement coordinator. The Fairmount Avenue Sam’s Club store donated nearly $18,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Store employees fundraised by asking for donations at registers, organized luncheons, hosted a "Mario Kart" tournament, held a baked goods sale, planned a community yard sale, sold meat pies, hosted a "Paws for a Cause" walk and had a carnival kickoff, among other activities and events.
According to Toni Bellitto, community involvement coordinator, this year's efforts brought in many times more than the funds raised in previous years - the store raised just shy of $6,000 in 2013 and almost $3,000 in 2012.
McLachlan also presented other awards to various employees and mentioned that the store has been recognized three times this year as the "Northeast Merchant of the Week."
Joe Mohrhaus, marketing manager, said that he has a personal connection to the Children's Miracle Network and that he was proud of the store's efforts in fundraising.
Walentynowicz said that although the official numbers are not in, she believes the local Sam's Club location raised the most money out of the participating stores in Western New York, and that it should anticipate a visit from Rob Ray with a signed Buffalo Sabres jersey that will reside in the store.
"You all did a tremendous job," Walentynowicz said. "It's great to see a group come together and do this. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
Lynn Gore, Children's Miracle Network fundraising captain, added that it truly was a team effort, and that several individuals involved with the store have a connection to the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
The Children's Miracle Network is an organization established in 1983. It is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada that use the funds where they are needed most. Donations have supported research and training, the purchase of equipment, and paying for uncompensated care to save the lives of as many children as possible.
The funds raised stay within the community where they are generated.