March 27, 2015
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Bradenton, Fla.-area Winn-Dixie Nos. 656, 660 and 2404 came together to provide food and drinks for the Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue's second annual open house event.​

Winn-Dixie store Nos. 2404, 656, and 660 in Bradenton, Florida came together to help their local fire department, Cedar Hammock Fire-Rescue, with its second annual open house event.

The fire department welcomed more than 900 people to the firehouse and training center for an informational event for children of local schools and their families.

Laura Sturdivant, director of Winn-Dixie No. 2404, donated food to the fire department for its first open house event while she was at a store where she previously worked, No. 656. When she moved to No. 2404, the fire department came to her again for their second event – but this time she wanted Winn-Dixie to be a bigger participant.

“I developed a good relationship with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, so when I moved to a different store, they came back to me,” said Sturdivant. “For this year’s event, I brought in the other area Winn-Dixie stores and we set up tables and cooked the hot dogs ourselves. We had several associates from all three stores help out.”

Flowers Baking Company of Bradenton donated the buns and Frito-Lay contributed chips, Sturdivant said. Winn-Dixie also donated water and Chek Soda. The associates set up a prize wheel with giveaways, including street chalk, Snuggies and duffle bags.

The fire department set up demonstrations with the "jaws of life" and fire hoses, and had a helicopter fly in and land onsite.

This was the first time Winn-Dixie No. 660 Director Butch DeMonte teamed up with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, and he hopes to build a stronger relationship.

“Partnerships with local organizations, especially those with a strong focus on community, are very important,” said DeMonte. “When Winn-Dixie shows its support for these organizations and participate in their events, people notice that, and their view of Winn-Dixie is positive as a result.”

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Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue welcomed more than 350 people to their second annual event, where they did several demonstrations, including one with the “jaws of life."

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