ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County 4-H was the beneficiary of the Enterprise Safeway’s decision to mark its grand reopening Wednesday, Sept. 23, with a $2,000 donation to the youth organization.
Katie Wightman, store director, said the work on the store that took most of the summer was completed Sept. 9. During the project, a full-service deli was added, as was a bakery, the produce section was nearly doubled and a drive-up pharmacy window was added.
For seven days starting Sept. 23, the store handed out 25 full bags of groceries to random customers to celebrate completion of the project, said Brian Gilman, district manager who was on hand for the check presentation. He said the grand reopening would last a full eight weeks and during that time, random items would be given out for free to customers.
"Every time we have a grand opening, we make a donation to an organization that benefits kids and the store director gets to choose who," Gilman said.
The local Safeway has never made such a presentation before, Wightman said.
"The company does lots, but this is a first for me, and I’m very proud," she said.
She was the one to choose the 4-H group to receive the check.
"It’s for a general fund for the kids," she said. "They have multiple facets from archery to cooking to animal science. They have a very wide range of programs for children."
Wightman is particularly fond of the county 4-H program, given the rural nature of Wallowa County.
"It reaches kids all over the county," she said. "We have several towns, but we are one county and I wanted to be able to reach everybody."
Debi Warnock, the Oregon State University Extension agent for 4-H, was on hand to accept the check on behalf of the youth group, as was Dick Stangel, president of the Wallowa County 4-H Association. Warnock said there are about 400 youths in 4-H in the county, about half who do traditional 4-H and half do 4-H programs through the schools.
The local group has talked about using the funds for workshops to prepare the students for career readiness, Warnock said, "so things like communications, record books and things like that."