Young Powellhurst students benefit from Safeway shoppers’ generosity

The principal knew the grocery store manager was about to present a gift to his school. But see just how BIG a check this southern outer East Portland received‚

West Powellhurst Elementary’s principal, Allen Browning, welcomes his young students back after Spring Break.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Streams of kids pour into the gym at West Powellhurst Elementary a few minutes before their assembly begins, in early April.

Principal Allen Browning confides, “I invited you here so that you can learn about the connection we’ve made between an area business and our school.”

The school buys supplies for many of the school’s events at their nearby Safeway store, says Browning. “And, they’ve also been a great supporter of our projects; they donate food and beverages for many of our events.”

No April Fools joke
Into the gym then walks Joe Quigley, manager of the Safeway store at SE 122nd Ave. at Powell Blvd. And, he’s holding a VERY large check in his hand.

“We’re presenting West Powellhurst Elementary with a check in the amount of $1,105.05,” says Quigley with a big smile. “This money came from the generosity of our customers, and the employees at the store. We have collection canisters at our check-out stands. Any spare change customers wanted to donate they placed in the canister.”

Joe Quigley, manager of the Safeway store that “adopted” the school, greets the student audience.

Quigley says he chose the school because of its proximity to the store. “Many of the students’ families shop with us. We had a couple of teachers at this school introduce themselves to me when I started managing this store. Our relationship has grown from there.”

The store manager explains that the store’s employees themselves decide who will get the funds from the “spare change” canisters for a ten-month period.

“It’s great. I’m excited‚ and enjoy seeing the kids,” exclaims Quigley. “After we made a presentation at the school last year, supporting breast cancer research, many of the students have come up to me to say hello. It is great to build this kind of connection with our community.”

Safeway’s Joe Quigley and Principal Allen Browning “show us the money” which was donated by the store’s shoppers and employees.

Funds support good behavior
Browning says the school buys a lot of small prizes for positive behavior support program.

“We also conduct fundraisers with our booster organization‚ we’re looking to replace some of our old playground equipment. But we also do field trips and assemblies‚ this money helps support that as well,” Browning adds.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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