November 22, 2014
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Wal-Mart renovations completed, holds re-opening
David Pezza
Warwick Beacon photo
INSPIRING A COMMUNITY: Wal-Mart store manager Jason Olivier (left) and assistant manager Alexis Tulli (center left) cut a check to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, care of Evan Hudson (bottom left) and Tony Torres (right), who inspired the store and the community it supports to raise over $25,000 for the hospital.

The Wal-Mart on Post Road held a grand re-opening ceremony Friday after adding to its produce and refrigerated sections. The additions included three more aisles of produce and two more aisles of frozen and refrigerated products, said Alexis Tulli, the store’s assistant manager.

“The additions will allows us to better service the Warwick area,” she said.

Store Manager Jason Olivier said after 16 years of serving the area, the store is “happy to offer a bigger grocery selection.” He added, “If it wasn’t for the support of the city and the customers, we wouldn’t be here.”

In conjunction with its re-opening, Wal-Mart donated a total of $75,818 to Rhode Island charities, including the Rhode Island Family Shelter in Warwick.

Patti Macreading, executive director for the Rhode Island Family Shelter, accepted a check for $25,000 from Wal-Mart, which she will put toward buying new coolers and updating the shelter pantry.

Wal-Mart also made a $25,000 contribution to Gotta Have Sole, a non-profit that collects and buys new shoes and donates them to homeless shelters in Rhode Island and the New England area. Lori and Danny Lowinger accepted the check on behalf of their son, Nicholas, 14, who started the charity after visiting the R.I. Family Shelter when he was younger. Nicholas saw children his age without shoes to walk in, so he donated the shoes off his own feet and with the help of his parents, set up his own non-profit. Gotta Have Sole now donates new shoes to homeless shelters all over the New England area.

Lori Lowinger, grateful for the donation, said, “If it wasn’t for places like Wal-Mart, we wouldn’t have the same impact on our community.”

Wal-Mart remained opened during renovations and managed to raise $25,818 for the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in honor of Tony Torres and Evan Hudson, both 11 and patients at the hospital, who accepted the check on the hospital’s behalf.

Tulli, also a member of Wal-Mart’s Rhode Island State Giving Council, said that she and others on the council try to spread the donations to several shelters and organizations around the state “because they need it the most.”

Mayor Scott Avedisian and Councilman Raymond Gallucci cut the ribbon for the store’s grand re-opening.

“Thank you to Wal-Mart for the renovations and serving the community,” the mayor said, continuing, “If you’ve been counting, that’s almost $76,000 in total donations to this city; that is an amazing feat.”

@C_Cutline:INSPIRING A COMMUNITY: Wal-Mart store manager Jason Olivier (left) and assistant manager Alexis Tulli (center left) cut a check to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, care of Evan Hudson (bottom left) and Tony Torres (right), who inspired the store and the community it supports to raise over $25,000 for the hospital. (Warwick Beacon photo)


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