Two donations benefit the Empty Stocking fund drive

By BRIAN GRAVES Staff Writer
Posted 12/1/17

The annual Empty Stocking Fund drive had two big donors during its Wednesday morning edition broadcast from Athens Federal on 25th Street and featured an announcement from a big event …

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Two donations benefit the Empty Stocking fund drive

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The annual Empty Stocking Fund drive had two big donors during its Wednesday morning edition broadcast from Athens Federal on 25th Street and featured an announcement from a big event Friday.

Chris Whaley, co-manager of the Walmart South in Cleveland, presented a check for $1,500. That is on top of all the help the store gives to the Empty Stocking Fund.”When Kmart closed, we didn’t know where we were going to go or what we were going to do,” said Brenda Lawson who helps coordinate the fund every year. “We talked to Chris and it has been a great partnership with them. They make it so easy when we go shopping and accommodate us in every way that they can.”

“We were blessed because Chris is a Bradley County boy and knew the Rev. Littlefield, who began this,” said Sandra Rowland. “When we contacted Chris, he just welcomed us and a lot of the staff members knew what we do.”

WCLE host Steve Hartline accepted a check for $1,000 from Jeff

Cunningham, president and CEO of Athens Federal, as well as another $100

from its subsidiary, Southland Finance.

Cunningham himself pledged $100 on behalf of he and his wife.

He said the bank recognized the important work of the Empty Stocking Fund.

“We take pride in knowing our customers, and with that we want to do what we can for the communities we serve,” Cunningham said. “We are greatly blessed to be part of the community and part of this Empty Stocking Fund. This is just a great cause.”

“We enjoy working for the community,” Whaley said. “It’s been a great partnership and it’s a very touching thing playing with the kids at the Christmas party. There are several of our associates who have benefitted from this program over the years.”

Don Cowan of Jenkins’ Deli was on hand to announce a special lunch treat at the Cleveland restaurant on Friday.

“We are honored to host a two-hour program to raise money for this wonderful charity,” Cowan said. “We heard about them for years and have participated from afar, but now we get to go to the front lines and we are looking forward to it.”

The special event will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and during that time, diners will be serenaded by the Voices of Lee a cappella group.

The special morning broadcasts on WCLE moves to the Cleveland Family Y on Thursday then to the Holiday Inn Express on Friday.

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