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Celebrity baggers return to Bailey’s this weekend

By Staff | Feb 12, 2009

It’s time again to get out your grocery lists and do some shopping for a good cause as Bailey’s General Store prepares to host their annual “Bagging For Life” fundraiser, with local celebrities, city staff members, business owners and well-known islanders lending a hand for the upcoming Sanibel-Captiva Relay For Life.

This Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, shoppers are asked to help fill the “tip jars” – which are actually five-gallon water jugs – of the celebrities, who will bag all items purchased. All of the tips gathered during the two-day event will be donated to Relay For Life.

“Our event is in its fourth year,” said Richard Johnson, manager of Bailey’s General Store. “It began as a way for Bailey’s to support the Relay For Life event on the island even though we could not participate in the event itself. Now, it has grown to be another Bailey’s tradition. ‘Bagging For Life’ will still be around even when some of us are not.”

In 2008, FOX 4 Rising personality Bill Wood and his TV crew attended the fundraiser, which was broadcast live on his “Wild Bill’s Florida Roadshow” segment that morning along with The Sanibel School’s Green Team. Celebrity participants last year included Mayor Mick Denham, entertainer Danny Morgan, Sanibel Cafe owner Richard McCurry and local ice cream icon “Queenie” Viglione.

Confirmed celebrities this year include Stacey Deffenbaugh from WZVN, Lois Thome from WINK TV and Robert Van Winkle from NBC-2.

“Bagging For Life” is held each year one week prior to the Relay For Life, the largest American Cancer Society event of the year on the islands. This year’s island Relay will take place on Feb. 21 and 22 at Sanibel Community Park from noon on Saturday until 8 a.m. on Sunday.

“We reach out to our island celebrities and personalities to bag our customers purchases in exchange for tips in our big water jugs at each register,” added Johnson. “Our goal each year is to fill the jugs full of tips. Last year, we raised over $5,000. This year, we trust that everyone will dig deep to support ACS.”

Volunteers who would like to take part in this year’s “Bagging For Life” fundraiser should call Kathy Laura at 472-1516.