The Chewelah Safeway donated $10,000 to the Chewelah Food Bank on June 19 from the 1 percent retail selling bonus they received from the Washington Lottery for selling an $11 million ticket to locals Loren and Donna Hafer in May.
Manager Rick Dubigk said all $110,000 will be donated to charities at the Regional Division’s discretion, which covers Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Oregon. However, he was asked if there is a local charity that Safeway supports and suggested the Chewelah Food Bank because they are consistently helping them throughout the year.
Chewelah Food Bank Manager Gary McNiel said this is the biggest one-time donation he has ever accepted for the food bank.
“This is a true blessing,” McNiel said. “The food bank needs money to purchase nutritious food, stuff seniors need.”
McNiel said Safeway is always supportive of the food bank. He was just in the store earlier that day collecting another 88 pounds of food they donated.
Les Dennison, regional salesman for the Spokane Lottery Office, presented Dubigk with the Safeway selling bonus. He said they do not have these kind of winners often, but it is always a nice thing especially for a small town like Chewelah.
Theresa Simpson, the lottery sales rep for the Chewelah area, said she is glad to see some of the money going back to the community, in addition to a local person winning, since many believed it would just end up absorbed at Safeway’s corporate level.
Dubigk said the winning lottery jackpot is very exciting for the store and he is glad the Hafers won. They are low key and humble people, he said, and continue to shop at Safeway even though they are now millionaires.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: Safeway manager Rick Dubigk presents a $10,000 check to Chewelah Food Bank Manager Gary McNiel. Kellie Trudeau photo