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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March. 13, 2013) – With one week to go in the area BI-LO Supermarkets scan campaign, Mission Foundation announced today that participating grocery stores have raised more than $14,000 to expand Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA), the air ambulance program that serves Western North Carolina.
“It is humbling to see giving in action at our area BI-LO stores, and with one week to go in the campaign, we are asking everyone to please do their grocery shopping this weekend at their nearest BI-LO,” said Bruce Thorsen, president of Mission Foundation. “We’ve heard inspiring stories about what some of the stores are doing to help raise even more funds, like the BI-LO located in Brevard. It is raffling off a grill and has hosted weekend hotdog cook-outs to go above and beyond what is donated at the registers. Thanks to their initiative, we’ll reach our fundraising goal for $2 million even faster.”
The campaign to add any dollar amount to the grocery bill at the registers began Feb. 21at the area’s 12 participating BI-LO stores, from Landrum, S.C. to Franklin, N.C. Proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the Foundation specifically for the MAMA expansion.
“The stores have been extremely creative in creating interest in the project and in ways to raise money,” said Jeff Parks, Asheville district manager for BI-LO Supermarkets. “Several stores have had "yard sales" with items that were actually donated by the teammates themselves. We have had cookouts at numerous stores selling BBQ plates, hamburgers and hot dogs for donations. We also have had some generous donations of items to raffle form our vendor partners, in particular Coca-Cola of Asheville. Many stores have placed buckets at the registers and encourage customers to drop their loose change in as well.”
MAMA’s expansion includes upgrading and up-fitting its two helicopters with state-of-the-art avionics, lifesaving technology and safety equipment. It will also include new all-weather hangers, new hanger equipment, fuel systems and generators, and new MAMA command center equipment, including radios, video systems, weather radar, blood refrigerators and pilot accommodations. Because of a projected increase of 400 flights this year stemming from new growth and development, MAMA officials are also exploring the possibility of acquiring a third helicopter to better serve the 17-county region the service covers.