DeCA partners with industry to deliver saving, support Special Olympics

by Kevin L. Robinson
DeCA

FORT LEE, Va. – Nearly 40 commissaries emerged as grand winners in an industry promotion that delivered extra savings to their military communities while also supporting their local Special Olympics chapters.

As part of their Special Olympics promotion, Procter and Gamble (P&G) distributed $20 million in coupons on products sold in commissaries worldwide. P&G also loaded $135 in digital coupons to the Commissary Rewards Card program and offered patrons $5 off their next shopping trip if they purchased $30 worth of P&G items.

The promotion also benefitted Special Olympics as commissaries competed for their slice of $75,000 donated to local chapters. Winning commissaries were determined based on sales of P&G products and merchandising displays during the January promotional period.

“Our commissaries routinely work with manufacturers, vendors and suppliers to help deliver the benefit to our service members and their families worldwide,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka N. O’Neal, senior enlisted advisor to the Defense Commissary Agency director. “However, when this collaboration also supports worthy causes such as Special Olympics, the return to the community is priceless.”

The following commissaries were grand prize winners: 

  • Alabama – Gunter Air Force Base
  • Colorado – Air Force Academy
  • Florida – Hurlbert Field, MacDill Air Force Base, Patrick Air Force Base, Tyndall Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Whiting Field
  • Georgia – Robins Air Force Base
  • Germany – Vilseck and Grafenwoehr
  • Illinois – Scott Air Force Base
  • Italy – Vicenza and Aviano Air Base
  • Japan – Yokota Air Base and Camp Courtney (Okinawa)
  • Kentucky – Fort Knox 
  • Korea – Osan Air Base
  • Louisiana – Barksdale Air Force Base and Fort Polk  
  • Maryland – Naval Air Station Patuxent River
  • Michigan – Selfridge Army National Guard Base
  • Mississippi – Columbus Air Force Base, Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport and Keesler Air Force Base
  • Nevada – Naval Air Station Fallon 
  • New York – Mitchel Field
  • North Carolina – Marine Corps Air Station New River and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
  • Ohio – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • Oklahoma – Tinker Air Force Base
  • Tennessee – Arnold Air Force Base
  • Texas – Fort Hood II, Naval Air Station Kingsville, Randolph Air Force Base,  and Sheppard Air Force Base 
  • Virginia – Fort Belvoir and Langley Commissary at Joint Base Langley-Eustis
  • Wisconsin – Fort McCoy

“Our DeCA team members and industry partners are always motivated to deliver the best benefit possible to our patrons,” said Hector Granado, DeCA’s marketing director. “When it comes to Special Olympics the level of excitement seems to go even higher.

“We had tremendous merchandising displays, scavenger hunts, turkey bowling, pie eating, sit-up and limbo contests in the stores to highlight this promotion,” he added. “Some of the bases even joined in on the fun. At our Cherry Point [North Carolina] Commissary, we had a Special Olympian do a 2 1/2-mile run with 24 Marines, and then they all pumped out 30 pushups in front of the store.”

At Fort Belvoir, John Blythe, store director, credits the teamwork between his store associates and their industry partners for a successful event that benefits his patrons. With his store being among the grand prize winners, his staff is gratified to know their efforts connect with such a worthy cause.

“We take great pride in supporting Special Olympics which allows so many participants an opportunity to experience joy, friendship, courage and developing physical fitness,” Blythe said. “It truly means a great deal to our team knowing we are supporting such a great program that touches so many lives.”

Although his store wasn’t a grand prize winner this year, Fort Bliss, Texas, store director Michael Mena says commissary patrons always benefit when industry collaborates with DeCA for these promotions. “Our customers benefited by the awesome pricing and the handouts which the Proctor and Gamble team distributed to customers at the door.”

Since 1980, Procter & Gamble’s brandSAVER® coupon program has raised over $40 million for Special Olympics, with 2 cents from every coupon redeemed going to the movement, said Michael Bender, P&G’s DeCA military sales leader.

“To meet the increased demand of products during the Special Olympics period, the commissaries compete in a display contest driving sales and awareness of Special Olympics worldwide,” Bender said. “P&G is proud to donate $75,000 to Special Olympics through our winning commissaries while offering our military patrons additional savings on products they know and love.”

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