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Educators are served a full course of community thanks
Wal-Mart sponsors annual teacher appreciation event.
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Marsha Bumgarner, Wal-Mart management trainee, left, and Sherry Reed, community involvement assistant at John Sexton Elementary School, team up to help facilitate the early morning Teacher Appreciation event.
PINELLAS PARK – Educators from around the county received highest honors July 22 at the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Teachers were served up a continental breakfast, entertainment by the St. Petersburg High Double Thunder drum line and applauded by local dignitaries, politicians and officials. This is the seventh time Wal-Mart has offered this school-year kickoff to the community.

Many drawings were held during the two-hour activity, with a 9-inch television/DVD player awarded as a grand prize.

“You can even plug it into your car,” said Rveva Barrett, Wal-Mart’s community involvement coordinator, with a laugh. “Now you can watch as your child goes into a coma while you are driving down the road.”

Reps Leslie Waters and Don Sullivan were on-hand to offer their support and encouragement as the new school year is about to begin.

Mayor Bill Mischler said, “You, the teachers are the backbone of our society. You will make and mold every leader and politician in our society.”

Waters added, “Teachers are the hardest working people in the area.”

Cathy Dickson Heverly, one of Pinellas County School’s community involvement leaders, praised teachers.

“We know you can’t do it alone,” she said. “We know that you not only teach the brain, but you teach the heart, too. You make the world a better place by taking an interest in our students.”

Each teacher received a toolkit just for attending that included helpful items like markers, pencils, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, composition book, fasteners, snacks and other stationery items that educators can’t live without.

Also, Barrett announced two Sam Walton Community $1,000 Scholarships to be given to local students. More than 6,000 scholarships are awarded annually across the company, Barrett added.
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