November 05, 2015
The Winn-Dixie No. 2439 team in Englewood, Fla. threw a Harvest Festival for the community. From left to right: (back row) Samantha Slone, service lead; Alyssa Aldrich, cashier; Kelly Vanbuskirk, bakery associate; (front row) Jennifer Hart, cashier; Danielle Viele, store director.

By Darby Underwood

Southeastern Grocers Community Connections

West Florida and West Central Florida

Winn-Dixie No. 2439 in Englewood, Florida, brought its community together for an autumn Harvest Celebration festival for children and families. More than 300 kids attended the event, which the store has hosted for the past five years.

“I like for us to be known as family-friendly,” said Danielle Viele, store No. 2439 director. “Doing things with kids is something we really enjoy as a store, and getting other organizations involved brings different aspects of the community together.”

There were a number of activities in the store for kids to participate in, including trick-or-treating, face painting and cupcake decorating. Outside the store, attendees had the opportunity to play with animals – EARS Animal Rescue had adoptable dogs and Branded Heart Stables brought “Hope,” the therapy pony.

The Englewood Winn-Dixie store is very involved in local schools and organizations and sponsors several events throughout the year. Viele and her team volunteer at partner Englewood Elementary School and most recently threw an ice cream social for students and their parents. In return, Englewood Elementary posted fliers for the Harvest Celebration to help spread the word about the festival.

“Putting on events for our neighbors is a priority for us because not only does it grow our business, but we feel giving back to the community is important,” said Viele.

Children who attended Winn-Dixie No. 2439's Harvest Festival donned their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treated inside the store.

Winn-Dixie No. 2439 invited community organizations to participate in the Harvest Festival, including Branded Heart Stables, which brought “Hope,”the therapy pony.

Winn-Dixie No. 2439 threw an ice cream social for Englewood Elementary School.

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