Hy-Vee marked National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a donation of $160,000 to two organizations dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.
Hy-Vee directors from the Des Moines area presented a check for $135,000 to representatives of Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the conclusion of the organization's annual Komen Des Moines Race for the Cure, held Oct. 24 in Des Moines. And as the title sponsor of the Kansas City Chiefs' Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, Hy-Vee will present a check for $25,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation on November 22 during halftime of the game between the Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium.
The two donations represent proceeds from a special pink-themed ad and the sale of custom-designed pink Hy-Vee reusable shopping bags featuring a breast cancer awareness message. Hy-Vee's 227 stores in eight states also contributed to the fundraising effort by holding a series of special events throughout October to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, said Ruth Comer, assistant vice president of media relations for Hy-Vee.
"Our stores went all-out this year for the fight against breast cancer," Comer said. "It's an issue that affects many of our employees and customers on a very personal level, and that personal connection was evident in many of the displays created and events held throughout the month."
Among the special Breast Cancer Awareness activities sponsored by Hy-Vee stores:
• In Des Moines, stores held a "Cookies for Komen" promotion, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of pink-iced sugar cookies donated to the Susan G. Komen organization. More than 200 Hy-Vee employees from the area joined a team to walk or run in the Komen Des Moines Race for the Cure. Hy-Vee stores donated fruit for the 26,000 participants in the Des Moines race and teamed with General Mills to supply Yoplait yogurt. More than 8,000 pink Hy-Vee reusable shopping bags with breast cancer awareness messages were distributed at the Des Moines race site at the State Capitol.
• Hy-Vee stores in the Quad Cities support their local Race for the Cure by putting on a free breakfast for race volunteers and the more than 500 breast cancer survivors who participate.
• Eight breast cancer survivors from Kansas City-area Hy-Vee stores served as honorary captains at the Kansas City Chiefs football game October 4. The survivors wore special pink t-shirts and participated in pre-game ceremonies on the field at Arrowhead Stadium.
• Many Hy-Vee stores sponsored "Think Pink" events tailored for female customers. These evening events typically featured food, games, activities, demonstrations and prizes, with an emphasis on health, fitness and breast cancer awareness.
• The Hy-Vee store in Marshall, MN held a series of fundraisers for the local hospital's "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" campaign, which provides financial assistance to help underinsured women afford mammograms.
• Hy-Vee at 108th and Fort in Omaha set up pink-themed displays throughout the store and sold "Believe" t-shirts, with a portion of the proceeds donated to breast cancer research. Employees who purchased the shirts were allowed to wear them to work on designated days.
• The Cedar Rapids, Marion, Iowa City and Coralville stores sponsored "Food, Fitness and Fun," a health and wellness event featuring Olympic gold medalist and "Dancing With the Stars" champion Shawn Johnson. The event attracted more than 2,000 participants, with $1 from each admission donated to breast cancer research.
Comer said Hy-Vee's efforts on behalf of breast cancer awareness are in keeping with the company's mission of making lives easier, healthier and happier.
"Our commitment to customer service extends beyond the walls of our stores to embrace the communities in which we operate," she said. "As a company, we care about the causes that are important to our customers and employees, and we're proud to join them in the fight against a disease that has touched so many of our lives."