If you enter an ACME grocery store in the Delaware region during October, you’ll notice checkout counters decked with pink donation canisters for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and it’s likely that you’ll be swept into the enthusiasm of ACME’S Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities.
ACME’s dedication to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is so strong that teams from 34 stores in Delaware and parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania have won the top fundraising honor – the Cup of Hope – for three out of the last six years, including 2011.
“Our demographic is right in the range of who gets diagnosed with breast cancer – women ages 39 to 54. It impacts our guests who we serve every day, as well as our team base. You could be standing in line at our stores next to the next person who is going to get breast cancer,” says Marianne Nice-Trionfo, lead coach of ACME’s 34 teams and Front End Operations Manager. Her passion partially grew out of her personal experience. She lost her sister-in-law to breast cancer in 2000, and her best friend is a breast cancer survivor.
The ACME teams get into the spirit by challenging each other to raise the most money, explains Marianne. “It’s a fun month.” Teams host a variety of fundraising activities in stores, including Hot Dog Days (selling prepared hot dogs), root beer floats and face painting. They organize pancake breakfasts and car washes. There is an employee Denim Weekend, in which ACME staff can contribute a small amount for the privilege of wearing denim to work. ACME’s security staff volunteers to handle Dover Downs parking on a specific date and receives parking funds in return. All proceeds go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
ACME’s involvement with the American Cancer Society began about a decade ago with employee Marianne Donaghue, who researched organizations that fight breast cancer and recommended that ACME support Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She was joined by colleague Kathy Lex as well as Marianne Nice-Trionfo, and the momentum built from there. In addition to their friendly fundraising frenzy, about 100 ACME staff walk in Making Strides in October in Wilmington. District Managers Kent England of district 3 and Rick Pratt of district 4 encourage their stores’ teams to turn out.
“We take this as a personal mission,” says Marianne. “It’s so important for the American Cancer Society to continue their work and for ACME to support it. Two of the major drugs that fight breast cancer—Herceptin and Tamoxifn—grew out of research supported by the American Cancer Society. One out of two newly diagnosed breast cancer patients turn to the American Cancer Society for help.”