Talking Turkey: The Importance of Community Involvement

Celeste Dawson, Save A Lot Retail Partner

As we approach another Thanksgiving, I am reminded of how thankful we are for our generous community and the importance of community involvement and giving back – during this thankful season and always. My husband, Peter, and I have been proud retail partners of Save A Lot since 1991 and we have long tenure as advocates of the local community. Whether through supporting the local school district or helping the local city council to stock pop-up pantries around the community, giving back has always been part of our store’s DNA.

So when our local TV station PLG-TV 13 approached us with a unique holiday request back in 2015 – to host an inaugural Tukey Bowl at our store – we knew we had to be involved.

For those who aren’t familiar with a Turkey Bowl, it’s good clean poultry fun. The version here in Bardstown invites teams of four to bowl in the store using frozen turkeys. Turkey bowlers are welcome and encouraged to wear thematic costumes, and prizes are given for top bowlers and “most spirited.” The best part of the event is that all proceeds (entrance fees and donations collected during the event) benefit Blessings in a Backpack, an amazing program that helps provide food on the weekends to elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

As a small business owner, working with charities is an important and poignant way to show our support to the local community, especially when we can do it in partnership with other local businesses. Ultimately the collaboration makes a bigger impact all around. In our five years of partnership with PLG-TV, we’ve helped raise more than $25,000 for kids in need. On average, it takes about $120.00 per year to feed one child on the weekend through the Backpack program, so you can see the kind of impact we’ve been able to make with these donations. And when the project involves something like rolling a 10lb turkey down a grocery aisle, well, it feels like more fun than work.

This year, we had planned to talk turkey again, partnering with PLG-TV 13 on an even bigger and better version of our Turkey Bowl. But, with the COVID-19 virus still a pressing concern in the community, we made the hard decision to postpone this year’s event. It will feel a little strange not to see frozen turkeys flying down the aisles of our store this season, but we know that this event has enough “wings” to make its inevitable return in the years to come.

As a neighborhood grocery store, we are fortunate to be recognized as a good corporate citizen and valued friend in the community we call home. Whether lending a helping hand or reaching out to those in need, we are always looking for innovative and effective ways to fulfill our commitment to serve. Connection is at the heart of every community and we’re grateful our Save A Lot can continue to help bring people together.

WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A SAVE A LOT PARTNER – the opportunity to work with a big national brand with a strong identity, but one that allows us to work independently on projects that benefit our local community.

Peter and Celeste Dawson successfully own and operate the Save A Lot in Celeste’s hometown of Bardstown, Kentucky, and have been retail partners since 1991.

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