Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 12, 2013

Walmart kicks off 'reopening' with community donations

By Brent Brown Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Shoppers who visited Walmart early Friday may have gotten quite an unexpected show as they passed near the front of the store on the grocery side shortly before 8 a.m.

Store management joined numerous associates and members of the Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting ceremony that closed the door on a 10-week remodel and opened the way to what team members of the retail giant believe will be a better local shopping experience.

Greensburg Walmart store manager Andy Dick described the two and half month revamp as “a journey” that has ended in a cleaner, more accessible store. Dick complimented the work of his associates and the remodel crew and thanked local customers for bearing with the store through its growing pains.

Those many labors have borne fruit in the form of new cash registers, added self-checkout lanes, a new bike rack and a cleaner overall appearance awash in the company’s familiar shade of blue from front to back.

With the new look in place, there was cause to celebrate Friday, and the store did so not only by cheering on the efforts that had gotten them this far, but also by giving back to the community store personnel hope to continue to serve.

Checks in the amount of $1,000 each were given to the Decatur County Council on Aging, the Greensburg Police Department and the Greensburg Fire Department. The North Decatur and South Decatur school systems each received $500 as did St. Mary’s Elementary School, Greensburg Elementary School and Carousel Play and Learn Center.

It was an act of giving that is nothing new for Greensburg Walmart or the corporation as a whole.

Walmart donates 10,000 pounds of food and approximately $10,000 annually in grants, the presentation revealed.

Greensburg Mayor Gary Herbert, upon doing some research of his own, told the group Friday morning that Walmart has contributed more than a billion dollars in charitable donations across the globe. Additionally, Walmart associates have given more than two million hours of their time to provide service to their customers.

Those figures laid the groundwork for Herbert’s speech, who noted his gratitude for Walmart being a part of the Greensburg and Decatur County community.

The mayor also complimented the store’s associates saying, “No business can be successful without its employees.”

Several of those associates finished up the presentation with the famous “Walmart Cheer,” which involved shouts and clapping from a large group of exuberant team members.

That bit of spectacle was preceded by a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace by American Legion member John Tumilty. Tumilty was accompanied by Color Guard members who stood by throughout the ceremony.

Adding to the patriotic spirit was customer service manager Darin Rae Balser’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, which drew loud cheers.

Dr. Michael Layne led the group in prayer prior to the ceremony’s official start, asking for continued success for the company and guidance for local, state and national leaders during difficult economic times.

The ribbon cutting itself was overseen by Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeff Emsweller and Chamber members Diane Hart-Dawson and Jenni Hanna. A group of associates who have been with Walmart for 25 years or more had the honor of slicing the ribbon Friday morning. The group was also applauded by their fellow employees and management teams for their long tenure with the company.

The hard work of the store’s many associates, no matter their length of time with the retailer, came up several times during Friday’s presentation.

Andy Dick called the effort of his crew “outstanding” and applauded the work of store associates over the course of the 10-week endeavor.

“You’ve done wonderful work, every one of you,” the store manager said.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056