MIDWAY – Not many people would open their back yard to 950 co-workers and their children for an entire Saturday. But to Channing Greene, an associate at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Greene County, the annual children’s fishing contest is just one more way to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Greene and his co-workers at the local distribution center last year raised $92,543 for CMN, ranking third among all Wal-Mart locations in the United States and Canada. In total, area Wal-Mart stores raised more than $230,000 for CMN in 2003, and all of that money stays in the region to improve children’s health care.

“Much of the money came from balloon sales in the Wal-Mart stores,” said Brenna Gillispie, Children’s Miracle Network coordinator for the Wellmont Foundation. Wellmont Health System hospitals are the region’s designated CMN hospitals.

Because they don’t work in a retail store, the employees at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center aren’t able to sell the paper CMN balloons that other Wal-Mart locations use to raise money for CMN. So the distribution center employees have to get creative.

“We organize a lot of events to raise money for CMN,” said Carrie Everhart, the distribution center’s merchandise coordinator. “We have all kinds of bake sales, pizza sales, golf tournaments – you name it.

“We did a flea market once that raised a lot of money, and penny drives in the schools have been successful.”

Everhart said all employees come up with ideas for fund-raising events. This year, the distribution center hopes to raise at least $95,000.

“It will be hard, but we have to beat last year,” she said. “All of us have a special child in our lives, and Children’s Miracle Network is all about helping children and families.”


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