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Denny’s raises $5,000 for MDA

By Staff | Apr 1, 2009

Some local ladies are doing their part to buck economic trends by raising more than $5,000 to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
At the Denny’s at 1306 Del Prado Blvd. S. servers have been quietly selling shamrocks for $1 a piece for the MDA.
The servers have sold so many, in fact, the shamrocks cover every wall in the eatery.
“It’s double what we raised last year,” said general manager Laurie Niemeyer. “Last year we raised $2,413. We’ve doubled that this year.”
The amount is even more astounding when considering last year’s total was divided between three Denny’s locations. The $5,000 this year is from the single location on Del Prado.
“My girls really know how to sell,” Niemeyer said. “And the community really knows how to pull together. A dollar you can give is a big help to someone.”
All funds raised in Lee County for the MDA stay in the county, according to an MDA official.
The $5,000 will go toward sending six kids from Lee County to an MDA camp in Brandon, Fla. The money also will buy wheelchairs, communication devices and 141 flu shots.
MDA program director Jill Balzano said the Del Prado Denny’s has long been a stalwart of fund-raising.
Denny’s corporation has only come on board as an MDA fund-raiser this year, but the particular franchisee who owns the Del Prado location has been lending a helping hand for a while.
“For a single location, this is a lot of money,” Balzano said. “A lot of that is due to their manager (Niemeyer). She’s fantastic. She really bought into the program and it’s spread to her staff.”
Niemeyer said her staff has been working hard during the monthlong shamrock sale.
She added that her servers are selling upward of $50 of shamrocks each day. One server has sold more than $870.
The server who sells the most shamrocks will be featured locally during the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
“I really have some overachievers,” Niemeyer joked.
To learn more about MDA, visit its Web site at: www.mda.org, or call the district office at 437-6900.