December 20, 2013
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BI-LO mascot Sue Berry and Clemson’s mascot Tiger at “Tiger Wonderland” Dec. 16.

As the official grocer of Clemson University, BI-LO store No. 5539 in Clemson, S.C. is used to teaming up to give back to those in need, but there is one event that is truly memorable.

Since its inception four years ago, Store Director Wayne Pierce and his team have participated in Tiger Wonderland, an event hosted by Clemson’s Athletic Department to provide 25 children, whose families are members of Clemson Community Care, with gifts for Christmas.

Clemson Community Care is a local organization that provides assistance to low-income families and individuals to provide them with basic needs such as food, shelter and utilities. BI-LO store No. 5539 also supports Clemson Community Care with various in-store events and the annual Charity Classic customer scan program. This year, the store raised more than $12,000.

For Tiger Wonderland, the organization works with the Clemson basketball office to provide a list of children, their clothing sizes and a wish list of toys. Money raised throughout the year by BI-LO helps to fund the gifts that each child receives at Tiger Wonderland.

On Monday, Dec. 16, 25 area children and their families loaded a school bus and headed to Clemson University. There, children were paired with a member of the men's or women’s basketball team, and the groups made their way through the arena concourse, which had been turned into a winter wonderland by the Littlejohn Coliseum staff.

Once inside, families enjoyed a meal together and participated in an arts-and-crafts session. Then, the kids proceeded toward a large Christmas tree where Santa Claus was waiting with presents for each child to open. Each child is provided with a full outfit of clothes, as well as toys off their Christmas list. The store provided each child with a goody bag filled with BI-LO own brand items and samples.

“Seeing the excitement on each of the kid’s faces as they tear into gifts and sit on Santa’s lap is beyond rewarding,” said Pierce. “It truly is the highlight of our year to be able to share in the holiday spirit with these families.”

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