Proceeds benefit WVU Children’s Hospital

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bluefield, Va., is small in population with just over 5,100 people. Step across the state line and there are only about 11,000 more people living in Bluefield, W.Va. But the residents of these neighboring communities came through for West Virginia University Children’s Hospital in a big way – to the tune of nearly $40,000.

Every year, Sam’s Club and Walmart stores across the country hold a six-week fundraising campaign for Children’s Miracle Network. During this year’s campaign, which ran from May 1 to June 13, Sam’s Club #6569 in Bluefield, Va., raised $29,834, making it the top fundraiser nationwide among Sam’s Clubs. For being first in the nation, the club received an incentive of $10,000 bringing the total donated to WVU Children’s Hospital to $39,834.

“Here at Sam’s Club in Bluefield, our passion for Children’s Miracle Network is driven by the true miracles that are made every day at WVU Children’s Hospital and around the country,” Gregory Sackett, Bluefield Sam’s Club manager, said.

The Bluefield Sam’s Club knocked out some big competition to become number one in the country. Coming in second place was a Sam’s Club in Jacksonville, Fla., which is home to more than 820,000 people. To raise money, the Bluefield club collected donations at its registers, but the associates didn’t stop there. They also held a wrestling match, golf tournament, fishing tournament, shooting match, Zumba-thon and cook outs.

“We are so proud that the Sam’s Club employees and members of the Bluefield community pitched in to make this campaign the huge success that it was,” Cheryl Jones, R.N., director of WVU Children’s Hospital, said. “We’re very grateful for their support and congratulate them for being the top fundraiser in the nation.”

To celebrate the club’s success, an event will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the store on Commerce Drive in Bluefield. Todd Harbaugh, Sam’s Club executive vice president of operations, and other corporate officials will attend. Shirley Rogers and Patrice Clark will represent the Children’s Miracle Network national office. Lora Edgell, Children’s Miracle Network director for WVU Children’s Hospital, will be there as well.

Several area dignitaries also plan to attend the celebration. They include: Bluefield (Va.) Mayor Don Harris; Bluefield (Va.) Vice Mayor Jimmy Jones; Bluefield (Va.) Town Manager Mike Watson; Bluefield (W.Va.) Mayor Linda Whalen; Bluefield (W.Va.) City Manager Andy Merriman; Bluefield (Va.) Police Chief Harry Cundiff; and Marc Meachum, Debbie Maynard and Karen DeHaan from the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce.

“Our motto has been ‘small town with a big heart,’ and our associates, our members and our community have really proven that we are just that,” Sackett said. “Everyone in this community rallied around us to make this possible, and we really appreciate everything that they did to help us achieve this goal.”

WVU Children’s Hospital provides maternal, infant and pediatric care for West Virginia and the surrounding region, giving care to high-risk mothers, premature infants and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescence to adulthood. For the 2011 Walmart and Sam’s Club campaign, stores in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky raised more than $400,000 for WVU Children’s Hospital.
For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 08-17-11