Pilot Club, Son’s help local charities with shopping spree
by Daniel Gaddy
Sep 19, 2010 | 1973 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Betty Abbott, winner of the Pilot Club shopping spree fundraiser, loads up her shopping cart with meats at Son’s Grocery in Jasper Saturday.
 morning. The Pilot Club sold tickets to win the shopping spree throughout the year as a fundraiser for its community outreach projects. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Betty Abbott, winner of the Pilot Club shopping spree fundraiser, loads up her shopping cart with meats at Son’s Grocery in Jasper Saturday. morning. The Pilot Club sold tickets to win the shopping spree throughout the year as a fundraiser for its community outreach projects. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
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Son’s Grocery store hosted a free shopping blitz for one customer Saturday to raise funds for the Jasper Pilot Club’s community outreach programs.

All year leading up to the event, the Pilot Club sold $1 tickets to enter in a drawing for the shopping spree. Betty Abbott won the session, which allowed her to grab as much as $500 of groceries in three chaotic minutes.

“We just want to thank all of the community and Son’s for the support,” said Beckie Martin, treasurer of the Pilot Club.

Pilot Club representatives said the event raised around $1,500 for the club’s general funds. Martin said all of the money will go directly to local charities and services. She said they hope to furnish helmets and a baseball field for the Dream Team, a local baseball team comprised of players with special needs.

Martin said club officials hope to donate some of the funds to Project Lifesaver, which provides residents suffering from illnesses like Alzheimers Disease with GPS-tracking bracelets. Martin said the program saves the lives of many people who become disoriented and wander from home. The club partners with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to raise funds for the endeavor.

Pilot Clubs around the nation focus their fundraising on organizations that benefit people suffering from mental disabilities. However, Martin said the Jasper Pilot Club also donates to the Walker County Humane Society, the Beacon House and project Daybreak, a resource center for victims of domestic violence.

Todd Lee, co-owner of Son’s, said he and his staff were honored to be involved with the event.

“The Pilot Club has so many great ladies and is such a great service organization,” he said. “We’re glad to help any way we can.”

Abbott said the shopping spree was the first prize she has ever won.

“I was so excited when I got the call from Beckie that I wasn’t able to function the rest of the day,” she said.

The Pilot Club and Son’s Grocery split the $500 grocery tab. Saturday’s shopping spree was the fifth installment of the annual event.

Gina Nichols, fundraising chair for the Pilot Club, said all of the members are grateful to the owners and staff of Son’s for their participation.

“Son’s is such a community-oriented business,” she said. “They are fabulous to work with any club or group.”