BJ’s Charitable Foundation donates $50,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay to celebrate new Clearwater store

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BJ’s Charitable Foundation, part of BJ’s Wholesale Club, recently donated $ 50,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay, part of Feeding America®’s member bank network, to celebrate their new store opening in Clearwater.

The donation will help to provide fresh and nutritious food for people who are food insecure and lack access to healthy food. BJ’s donated 193,000 pounds of food in 2018 to Feeding Tampa Bay, helping to provide nearly 160,000 meals in West Central Florida.

According to Thomas Mantz, Feeding Tampa Bay Executive Director, “Florida is 4th in the nation for family hunger and 1 in 6 people in our region live with daily hunger”. Nearly 60% of all people in West Florida are eligible for food stamps from all ethnicities with seniors and children primarily suffering from food insecurity according to Feeding Tampa Bay.

The new BJ’s Wholesale Club location in Clearwater will expand this program and donate unsold produce, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and bakery products daily to help reduce food waste and provide fresh meals to people who need it most.

The Grand Opening for BJ’s Wholesale Club is set for Saturday, April 13th, 2019. The new club will be located at 26996 U.S. 19 North Clearwater.

BJ’s beats average supermarket prices by up to 25% and will offer BJ’s Gas. The new location will feature a full-service deli with premium meats and cheese as well as butchers who can cut and repackage meat at no additional cost.

Some services offered for guests include same-day grocery delivery, in-store pickup for online orders, and digital add-to-card coupons.

BJ’s Wholesale Club currently operates 216 clubs and 138 BJ’s Gas stations in 16 states. BJ’s is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts.

Feeding Tampa Bay has served the Tampa Bay area since 1982 and serves a food-insecure population of more than 700,000 people in a 10-county area. Over 100 million pounds of food have been served in the last 5 years by Feeding Tampa Bay. Find out more about Feeding Tampa Bay at

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March 28, 2019 |

North Port couple donates thousands of toys to hospital in honor of son

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A North Port couple who tragically lost their 5-year-old son earlier in August set out to honor his memory Thursday by donating thousands of toy cars to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

  • Sawyer Gordon, 5, hit by a truck while on his bicycle on August 9
  • Sawyer was previously a patient at Johns Hopkins All Children’s
  • Parents wished to give back in a way that Sawyer would have loved

For Summer and Reppard Gordon, the trip to unload the multitude of toy cars for the young patients at the hospital was an emotional one.

The last time they were there, they left without their youngest son. Five-year-old Sawyer Gordon was killed on August 9 when he was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle.

At the time, the Gordons said it was their faith that was keeping them going.

"What’s getting us through is that God has a plan, and we trust him, and I know I will see our son again," Summer said.

RELATED: Family remembers 5-year-old North Port boy hit, killed by car

Sawyer, a special needs student at Pinnacle Academy in Bradenton, loved to play with Matchbox Cars.

Photo: Summer and Reppard Gordon

"He loved Matchbox Cars so much, even when I came home from the hospital after he passed away, I laid in his bed and found three Matchbox cars hidden under his pillow," said Summer.

Friends and loved ones were encouraged to bring Sawyer’s favorite toy to his celebration of life on August 12.

"We walked into church service, celebration of life and they had all these displayed out,” said Reppard. “Really an emotional time where all these people who had come, basically brought cars with them.”

Cars like the ones that brought smiles to Sawyer’s face while he went to appointments at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

"Just a month ago, we were here for a test and it was a little traumatic for him," said Summer. "They gave him this awesome little motorcycle and for weeks he would say, ‘I need my motorcycle, motorcycle.’"

The Gordons wanted to bring those smiles to other children, while honoring their son’s memory.

"I just thought giving back and bringing them here was such a perfect fit so that these kiddos that are going through health struggles and challenges and tests, they can just be kids for a few minutes and take their mind off whatever the reason that they’re here is," said Summer.

Kristin Maier, director of the Child Life Department at the hospital, received the donation and says Sawyer’s memory will live on through each one of these cars.

"This was a tragic situation and this family had so much unselfishness that they thought about giving back to other children and taking care of other children and helping their son’s life and legacy live on through a gift to the children, who are still going through different kinds of treatment and care," said Maier.

The toys will be distributed throughout the hospital for patients to enjoy.

"I hope that they bring them joy, I hope that they can bring them a smile," said Summer.

Bay News 9 – news

August 25, 2016 |
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