March 20, 2015
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Winn-Dixie No. 737 hosted its first cake-decorating event with Deep Creek Elementary and helped more than 250 students decorate cakes.​

Winn-Dixie Nos. 737 in Port Charlotte and 745 in Lehigh Acres, Florida partnered with local elementary schools to raise money for the schools through the junior cake decorating program.

The stores offered the children six-inch cakes or jumbo cupcakes to purchase and decorate for Valentine’s Day. The kids also received a Winn-Dixie hat and apron to wear during the event and then take home.

Winn-Dixie No. 737 contacted Deep Creek Elementary about the cake-decorating program in hopes of developing a community partnership with the school.

“It’s so important for stores to build relationships with community organizations, and schools especially,” said Lesley Thomson, former Winn-Dixie No. 737 store director, who is now at store No. 736. “Children go home with their Winn-Dixie goodies and tell their parents all about what Winn-Dixie did at their school.”

More than 250 students attended the cake-decorating event at store No. 737. Some 12 store associates, including Thomson, went to the school to help the children decorate their cakes. Thomson, who once was a cake decorator, showed the children how to make roses out of icing.

“The event was a lot of fun – not only for the kids, but for the associates as well,” said Thomson.

At Winn-Dixie No. 745, cake decorating is an annual Valentine’s Day event, but this year’s event received the largest turnout ever with about 650 students from G. Weaver Hipps Elementary in attendance.

Store No. 745 regularly teams up with G. Weaver Hipps Elementary for events, including math nights. Store Director Richard Graham said it’s beneficial to be actively involved in the local community.

“Participating in events like cake decorating with area schools are great for gettingthe Winn-Dixie name out there,” said Graham. “Parents see Winn-Dixie get involved in the school, and in turn get involved in our partnership.”

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Winn-Dixie No. 745 Front End Associate Janice Cataldi helps children from G. Weaver Hipps Elementary frost cakes.

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