YORK, Pa. -- Like the rest of the York, Pa., community, Rutter's officials were stunned in late November to learn about the theft of more than 200 toys from the Voni B. Grimes Gym's annual An Evening with Santa program.
In response, Rutter's Farm Stores placed collection boxes in each of its 44 York County convenience stores and asked for toy donations. Customers responded, the chain said, in a big way.
On Wednesday, Rutter's presented the gym with an estimated 500 toys, from baseball gloves and footballs to games and stuffed [image-nocss] animalsenough to fill two City of York trucks.
In addition, Rutter's Dairy provided the gym with 1,300 orange drinks, and the Rutter's companies added a $725 Wal-Mart gift card for the purchase of additional toys and food.
This has been a blessed day, said Gary Calhoun, Voni Grimes' program coordinator, upon accepting the toys. He estimated that 1,400 children would attend Saturday's Christmas program at the York gym.
Scott Hartman, president of Rutter's Farm Stores, said Rutter's responded because of its commitment to the community, particularly when it comes to the needs of children. We're blessed in many ways as a company, and we believe it is important to give back to the community that supports us and allows us to be successful, he said. I'm so grateful for our customers, who consistently demonstrate their kind-heartedness and help us to achieve wonderful things for worthy causes such as the Voni Grimes Christmas program.
In 2006, Rutter's will make charitable contributions of approximately $250,000, bringing its total for the past four years to more than $800,000.
The Rutter's companies include Rutter's Farm Stores, Rutter's Dairy and M&G Realty, a real-estate holding company. The companies employ more than 1,000 people in central Pennsylvania.
[Pictured: Scott Hartman (left), president of Rutter's Farm Stores, looks on as WGAL-TV reporter Ed Weinstock interviews Gary Calhoun, program coordinator for Voni B. Grimes Gym in York.]