On your mark, get set, go! Israel Ponce-Santiago sprinted through the aisles of Redner’s Fresh Market Wednesday evening for three minutes in the annual United Way campaign incentive shopping spree.
Redner’s provides the shopping spree as an incentive for those contributing to United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. Donors are eligible to win the incentive by contributing $4.00 or more per week, or a $208 annual gift.
“We are pleased to support United Way’s work, as their mission is all about improving lives, strengthening our community and helping others,” shares Eric White, Redner’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
The spirit of helping others is what makes this year’s shopping spree extra special. When Al Palsa of UGI Energy Services learned his name was selected as the incentive drawing winner, he was moved to “pay it forward”.
“I’m happy to support United Way, and I wanted to share the prize with someone who needed it more than I did,” explained Palsa. He called his sister, Kara Zubaty, a Reading School District elementary teacher, and asked if she could suggest a family who would benefit from the opportunity. The family of a former student came to her mind, and she asked if they would be interested. Zubaty describes the Ponce-Santiago family of Reading as a hard-working and deserving family who would appreciate the opportunity.
Redner’s has hosted the event for ten years. On Wednesday, Israel Ponce-Santiago, was given three minutes to run through the aisles and grab as many items as possible to fill a series of shopping carts.
“We’re grateful to Redner’s for their continued generosity; they are great community partners,” shares Tammy White, president of United Way of Berks County. “And, Al and Kara’s support is a perfect example of what makes Berks County so special – a spirt of giving and caring to help others.”
Last year, more than $11 million was raised to support community needs within United Way’s focus areas of education, financial stability, health and safety net services. The 2023 campaign launches in mid September. United Way annual program investments help more than 150,000 Berks Countians annually.
After his dash through the aisles, Ponce-Santiago was humbled to see the total of $1,127 at the register.