Longtime Walmart employees recognized, grants presented to nonprofits during grand reopening

A big weekend at Walmart Supercenter in Seymour resulted in money given to local nonprofit organizations and money raised for a children’s hospital.

During a grand reopening ceremony Friday morning inside the store, Walmart grants totaling $9,500 were presented to eight local nonprofits.

Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 received $2,500, Anchor House Family Assistance Center and Pantry was next with $2,000 and Mental Health America of Jackson County and The Arc of Jackson County each received $1,500.

Other recipients were Brownstown Community Christmas Cheer with $1,000, Jackson County History Center with $500, Seymour Pride with $250 and Indigo’s Rescue Ranch and Sanctuary with $250.

Noelle Fuhrmann, asset protection coach for Seymour Walmart, presented the checks.

Also during that ceremony, a ribbon cutting was conducted for the recently completed remodeling project of the store at 1600 E. Tipton St.

The store’s most tenured employees were invited to participate. The 14 people combine for 404 years of service, and the one with the most years, Andrea Moore at 35 years, cut the ribbon. They were joined by store manager Shelby Lewis.

Afterwards, each of those associates was able to cut a piece of the ribbon to keep.

Following Moore in years of service are Rhonda Wettrick (33), Kris Sharp (32), James Blankenship (31), Angela Williams (31), Isabelle Collins (29), Debra Douglas (28), Melvina Bloom (28), Rose Bailey (27), Michelle McCasland (27), Shannon Deaton (27), Sharon Fields (27), Terri Quinn (27) and Amanda Miller (22).

Dan Robison served as the ceremony’s emcee. Seymour Young Marines presented the colors, Walmart associate Sara Barnthouse sang the national anthem, Emmanuel Church Pastor Andy Schroeder conducted the prayer and Walmart Store Lead Brandon Chattin led the Walmart cheer.

The speakers were Seymour Police Chief Greg O’Brien, Walmart Market Manager Toni Rodriguez and Lewis.

Also, C.J. Foster, president of Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108, presented the store with an appreciation plaque for helping with the FOP’s annual Cops and Kids program. That pairs law enforcement officers with local kids to shop for items they need at Christmastime.

The grand reopening also featured numerous vendors, food trucks and nonprofit organizations set up in the store’s parking lot, and donations continued to be collected for the store’s Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.

Then Saturday, the festivities continued with the Flex’n for Riley Jeep Show, which concluded the Riley fundraiser. Thirty-one Jeeps participated, and $3,053 was raised for Riley, helping the store inch closer to its $15,000 goal. Lewis said the Black Sheep Jeep Club of Kentucky helped organize the event.

The special events were planned to celebrate the end of a major three-month remodeling project that updated the store’s flow of inventory.