Islanders offer donations during Celebrity Bagging Day
For the sixth consecutive year, Bailey’s General Store came alive with bells, whistles and bullhorns, part of the annual Celebrity Bagging fundraiser — dubbed “Bagging For Life” — staged for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.
“You would be hard pressed to find anybody whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way,” said Sarah Reynolds, co-chair of this year’s fundraiser, who thanks each celebrity bagger for their participation. “I think that people like to see people they know taking part in something like this.”
During the event, held last Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., local “celebrities” — including business owners, restauranteurs, politicians, firemen and entertainers — take a turn at bagging grocery items for Bailey’s customers. Each customer is then invited to make a donation on behalf of the American Cancer Society into the five-gallon “tip” jars, located at the end of each checkout lane.
This year’s celebrity lineup included Sanibel Vice Mayor Mick Denham, City Manager Judie Zimomra, Chamber of Commerce President Ric Base and past chairman Allen Myers, Karen Bell and Dan Schuyler from Lily & Co., Judy Michie from Cottages To Castles, SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad along with several members of the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District.
“I think this is a great idea and it looks like everybody’s having a lot of fun doing it,” said Gail Garlinghouse, a seasonal resident for more than 20 years who made a donation while Zimomra packed up her groceries. “It’s wonderful to see so many people supporting a great cause.”
According to store supervisor Kathy Laura, not only is the event an opportunity to raise funds and awareness about the American Cancer Society, but it’s also a fun gathering for the store’s workers and guest baggers.
“I love it. It gives you such a great feeling to see people coming out just for this cause,” she said. “This is a happy occasion, not a sad occasion… we’re all celebrating life.”
Another island resident, Paul Roth, whose groceries were being bagged by SFRD Fire Commissioner Bruce Cochrane, added his donation to the “tip” jar because, “This is a good cause. I’m happy to do it.”
Last Friday’s event raised more than $1,700 for the ACS Relay For Life, which was held that evening at the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers. To date, the Sanibel-Captiva Fighting Conch relay team raised $10,315 in pledges, third most among participating teams.
“Bailey’s (General Store) has been so kind enough to host this event,” added co-chair Lisa Newmeyer-Cochrane. “The American Cancer Society is a cause so near and dear to everyone’s heart. We’re so glad to see that the community always gives everything it can.”