Safeway enlists eclectic mix of local celebs for fundraiser

Congressman, mayor, Elvis impersonator, mascot help out

Take an Elvis impersonator, add one congressman, a local mayor, three cheerleaders, a high school mascot a principal, a DJ and a columnist; mix in a dash of humor and a good cause. Throw liberally at unsuspecting shoppers.

That was exactly what happened at a San Ramon Safeway Monday afternoon as the store on Bollinger Canyon Road raised money to help the fight against prostate cancer.

Elvis impersonator Johnny Baron regaled shoppers and Dougherty Valley High School cheerleaders kicked up their heels -- literally -- while Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton), San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, DVHS Principal Denise Hibbard, KKIQ morning show host Wayne Coy and a local columnist bagged groceries for shoppers.

Most of the shoppers were unaware their bags were being handled by the guest celebrities.

"Are you going to help me find a job?" college student, Kishmat Dhanoa asked upon being told that McNerney was her guest bagger.

"Absolutely," McNerney responded.

None of the baggers seemed to mind being upstaged by Baron, who tailored Elvis lyrics to fit the fundraiser, or the cheerleaders, with their custom-made chants for the event.

"Safeway's always been a leader in prostate cancer awareness," said McNerney over Baron's singing. "It's a good cause and it's fun to get out."

Despite the good-matured tone of the event, Wilson had a deeper message.

"My father passed of prostate cancer and it's important to make sure everyone's aware of this: it's curable if you catch it in time," he said.

And if the shoppers didn't know ahead of time, they were happy to chip in for the cause. Safeway raised more than awareness; the event brought in $300 between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., the hour the guest baggers were on duty.

The fundraising will continue until midnight Monday, June 21. Since 2001, when Safeway became involved in the fight, the company and its shoppers have raised more than $54 million for prostate cancer research and awareness.

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Like this comment
Posted by Matt
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

They don't ever stop asking for donation to charity at Safeway so that's one reason I've stopped shopping there. You get asked by people camping at the door and again by the cashiers at checkout. If I want to donate, I'd do that on my own.

Like this comment
Posted by the riddler
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jun 25, 2010 at 12:13 am

the charity is a scam. people need to wake up and realize it. safeway can make it so easy by using some of their profit money to give to charity. so they raise up the price of an item on the shelve a little which is then used for the charity. i think it would be a lot better for customers and workers if they did it that way.i have talked to numerous workers online and in the stores which are threated to collect or they might lose their jobs. if an employee is only raising a little they manager tells them they better get more. where is the charity in threats? i can hire a lawyer and play hardball with safeway and let the irs know whats going on too. they really need to leave people alone. i doubt steve burd and his own corporate clowns give a penny out of their own pocket to charity. they expect employees to give their own hard earned money to this fake charity scam of theirs.

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Posted by corpclown
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Jun 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I guess I qualify as one of Safeway's "corporate clowns" since I work at corporate. I've worked here 10 years and I've donated money to charity by way of paycheck deduction since I began working here. We attended a meeting about where/how the money is used, I don't believe for one second that any of this money is going anywhere other than the charities we were advised of. Furthermore, while we were strongly encouraged to donate at least a very small amount, our jobs were never threatened if we chose not to donate.

Like this comment
Posted by Big Poppa
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Looks like McNutty is getting ready for his next job. November can't come fast enough.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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