Paul Cook, manager of the Publix store at 113th Street and Park Boulevard, let his employees cover him with maple syrup and feathers on May 1 to celebrate the store’s raising more than $10,300 for the March of Dimes.
SEMINOLE – Following his store’s success during the March of Dimes’ signature fundraiser, March for Babies, Paul Cook, manager of the Publix on 113th Street and Park Boulevard in Seminole, celebrated in the most unique way he could think of: on May 1, he let his employees cover him in maple syrup and feathers, and wandered down to 113th Street, where he clucked like a chicken.
The store raised $10,300 for the cause in March, surpassing its original goal of $9,000. Only three times in Publix history has one of its stores raised more than $10,000, said Natalie Ison, a Publix representative. So the 113th Street’s store is significant, she said.
Cook said he set a goal for his store of $9,000, but told his employees that if they went above the $10,000 mark, he’d let them syrup and feather him.
“I wanted to give them something to help motivate them,” he said.
He attributes this year’s success to the closing of Publix stores in Indian Rocks and Madeira Beach.
“We’ve been a little bit busier because of that,” he said.
For nearly two decades, Publix stores across the country have supported the March of Dimes each spring. Over its 19-year relationship with the nonprofit organization, Publix customers and associates have raised more than $43 million, and more than $4.7 million in 2013 alone.
Funds are raised at the register, $1 at a time as customers make their purchases. The Seminole Publix also held several money-raising events, including penny wars and a pie-throwing event, where managers got pied in the face for cash.
The March of Dimes uses funds raised to support its mission of helping moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies. For more information, visit www.marchofdimes.com.
“The biggest thing is what we can do for the babies,” Cook said. “It’s a great charity.”