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Student wins $7,500 from HyVee for WMS (12/12/2005)
Christmas came early for Allison Wildenborg and her Winona Middle School class, courtesy of Winona's Hy-Vee grocery store. That's because Alison's nomination was chosen in Hy-Vee's "Smiles for Education" program, winning $7,500 for the Middle School's general education fund, and an Apple iPod portable music player for herself.

The award is the culmination of Hy-Vee's yearlong celebration of its 75th anniversary. Hy-Vee's "Smiles for Education" program will provide $750,000 to schools throughout the Upper Midwest.

"It was an amazing phone call," said Winona Hy-Vee Store Director Tony Fuhrmeister. "When they told me that we could draw the winner of $7,500, I was ecstatic, and couldn't wait to draw someone's name and tell them that they had just won a $7,500 gift for their school. I think that Allison's mother was a little shocked and happy to hear the news. It was fantastic. I know that the Middle School will be able to find a great way to use the money, and we're very pleased that Hy-Vee can be a part of that."

Fuhrmeister's phone call touched off a chain of events that resulted in delighted smiles for Allison, and for the Winona Middle School staff and students.

"When the Hy-Vee store manager called me and asked if I had a daughter named Allison, I said yes. Why?," said Mary Wildenborg. "It was really cool to hear him say that they had drawn my daughter's name and that she would be getting $7500 for the school. Then of course, there is the matter of the iPod. She had put an iPod on the top of her Christmas wish list, with a little notation that said: ‘I wish', so she knew it probably wouldn't happen. I'm very proud of Allison, and really appreciate Hy-Vee's generosity."

For Middle School principal Sharon Suchla, the $7,500 gift will help her fill out a much needed wish list of technology items for her students.

"We always appreciate the gift of money, and this was an awesome telephone call to receive," said Suchla. "We are going to talk to our staff and students, but we need to replace three of our computers immediately. When we moved here we had VCRs that need to be replaced with DVD players, and we also need new cameras with memory sticks. Technology has changed very quickly, and this gift will help us catch up."

"Hy-Vee has been a class act, that's all I can say," continued Suchla. "They donated all the treats for today's presentation, along with bringing in tablecloths, flowers and balloons. Every time we've ever worked with Hy-Vee, they have gone the extra mile. We're very appreciative." 


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