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RICHMOND â€” On Tuesday, Stop & Shop awarded Richmond Elementary School with a check for more than $17,000 earned through the storeâ€™s A+ School Rewards program.
Richmond was Rhode Islandâ€™s top-earning school mainly because of visionary PTO parent, Linda Thompson-Brennan, who made it her mission to register area residents for the free program as they entered and exited the store.
â€śLinda approached us and asked if she could get on the sidewalk and enroll customers for the A+ program and she was out there many weekends getting customers signed up and thatâ€™s why weâ€™re here today,â€ť said Tony Gale, Richmond Stop and Shop store manager.
Last year Richmond Elementary earned $4,800 but Thompson-Brennan saw the potential to earn far more.
â€śI wrote a letter of intention saying that Richmond school would make over $18,000 and that we would have over 1,200 people signed up and I sent this whole thing out to the universe. And in my heart I really believed we could do it,â€ť said Thompson-Brennan.
Richmond was just shy of her dollar goal, but the school did win 14 laptops from Kelloggs and General Mills through their boxtops awards programs.
â€śWhen you add in the laptops that brought it over $18,000. And my letter also said weâ€™d be first in Rhode Island and we are,â€ť she said.
Gale said the program is free, easy to register for, and does not affect customersâ€™ gas points.
â€śWe ask customers to register their courtesy card and register the school that they want their money to go to and as they shop during the course of the year, they earn points and those points become money, which gets contributed to the schools. Itâ€™s not a dollar out of anyoneâ€™s pocket,â€ť he said.
â€śThe schools have their options to use the money in any way they want to. They can use the money, for computer equipment, or musical equipment, or sporting, athletics. Itâ€™s all a matter of registering your courtesy card,â€ť he added.
Gale said that this year Stop & Shop customers raised over $28,000 for Charihoâ€™s six schools.
In addition, the A+ program will give $270,000 to 391 schools in Rhode Island. In total, Stop & Shop donated $2.5 million to more than 2,200 public and private schools for the 2012-2013 school year. Since the programâ€™s inception in 2009, Stop & Stopâ€™s A+ School Rewards has donated more than $7 million to schools through the Northeast.
â€śI just wanted to thank Stop & Shop for helping us with this. The PTO is always looking for creative ways to raise funds. Iâ€™m not a big fan of the gift wrap, candle, and food sales â€”I really discourage that â€” so this is a good way to do it,â€ť said Barry Ricci, superintendent of Chariho schools.
â€śFor such a small area and small store, we have one of the largest checks in New England, which is amazing and thatâ€™s the work done by Linda and our customers,â€ť said Gale.
â€śAnd the students and families at Richmond school. I couldnâ€™t have done it without their help,â€ť added Linda Thompson-Brennan.
Not resting on her laurels, Thompson-Brennan is expanding her future goals.
â€śI have made another plan for what I want next year. I want to be first place in New England,â€ť she said.
About A+ School Rewards
Stop & Shopâ€™s A+ School Rewards program allows local schools to earn cash for scholarships, technology, sports equipment, field trips and other educational needs. After customers designate the school(s) of their choice, A+ School Rewards points accrue with purchases made using their Stop & Shop card. This yearâ€™s program ran from Oct. 5, 2012 through March 28, 2013. Since the program launched in 2009, $7 million has been donated to local schools throughout the Northeast. For more information or a complete listing of participating schools and rewards earned for the 2012-2013 school year, visit www.stopandshop.com/aplus.