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Arlington DECA students take over Safeway
SMOKEY POINT — Those shopping at the Smokey Point Safeway store on Saturday, May 19, may have noticed an influx of workers buzzing around the place. That’s because the Arlington High School DECA club was taking over the store for the day in order to learn the skills of running a business and to also raise money for a nonprofit organization, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Safeway was filled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with local high school students learning everything from baking cookies, sorting meats, stocking shelves and bagging groceries.
“Safeway is a huge sponsor of DECA,” said AHS senior and DECA chairwoman Allison Langley, who saw this event as a way of helping their sponsor as well as the club. “We come here to learn how to run a business, and we take the skills we learn here and bring them back to our student store,” she said.
The AHS DECA club, a marketing organization, also takes over the Arlington Safeway in the fall to raise money for Santa’s Helpers, which donates food, money and toiletries to local families in need during the holiday season.
The 2011-12 school year marked the 13th time that the DECA club has raised money for Santa’s Helpers, but this is the first year that they have raised money for a nonprofit during their springtime takeover.
To raise money for the JDRF, students greeted customers at the door and sold root beer floats for $1. Some students stood in a makeshift cage and asked customers for spare change.
Around the rest of the store, students donned hairnets and helped Safeway employees with their everyday tasks. Employees were gracious in teaching the students the skills required in each department, but there was no mistaking the high schoolers.
“Our theme is rock n’ roll,” said Langley, who sported a black DECA T-shirt designed like an AC/DC album cover. “We are all wearing the shirts so customers and other employees can see us and ask questions about what we’re doing.”
Members of the club are proud to be supporting their locals and learning the life skills of working at a business.
“DECA members are really excited to help the community and give back,” said AHS junior Hailey Mellick. “I am really excited to do this next year.”
Even for new-comers, the Safeway takeover was fun and fulfilling.
“This is my first year,” said Zion Dunnington, a junior. “It is really a great experience to give back to the community.”