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Wal-Mart celebrates 5 years
Nashville Mayor Donald Street (at right) reacts after tossing a pie on the head of Nashville Wal-Mart Manager JJ Golden (at left) during a five-year celebration at Wal-Mart last Wednesday. (Graphic photo by Amanda Clark)
Nashville Mayor Donald Street treated Wal-Mart Manager J.J. Golden to a little pie last week as part of the store’s five-year anniversary celebration.

Street shoved a whipped cream pie in Golden’s face as part of a challenge Golden issued to store associates to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Each year, Wal-Mart stores raise money for the organization. This year, Nashville’s Wal-Mart hopes to raise $15,000. Since Nashville’s Wal-Mart is celebrating its five-year anniversary, Golden told associates if they could raise $500 during the store’s anniversary celebration, he’d take a pie in the face.

Within minutes, the money was raised and at the conclusion of anniversary events last Thursday morning, Golden was waiting for his pie.

Mayor Street was chosen to toss the pie in Golden’s face.

Associates also raised money for another pie-in-the-face opportunity for Assistant Manager Tony Simpson.

Anniversary celebrations also included awards for long-time store associates.

“Nashville Wal-Mart’s been here five years now so we wanted to do something special for the associates,” Golden said.

Golden said though he’s only been at the Nashville store six months, it’s obvious how much support Wal-Mart has from the community. Golden said he knows he can pick up the phone and call anyone in the community when he needs something. And community members know they can do the same when they need something from Wal-Mart.

“I definitely appreciate that relationship,” Golden said.

Mayor Street said he remembers when the store opened five years ago. It was a big day in Nashville, he added.

“It was the greatest excitement we’ve had in a while,” Street said. “(Wal-Mart’s) really been a contributing unit in town.”

Golden said Wal-Mart likes to give back to the community and since 2008, the store has given over $50,000 to various community efforts. This year, Golden said the store will give $8,000.

“We are so grateful to be able to be part of that,” Golden said.

Wal-Mart also gives a local teacher $1,000 to help with classroom supplies.

“Community giving is very important to us,” Golden said.

In addition to community donations, Wal-Mart has also contributed over $20,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network. Golden said each Wal-Mart store competes to see who can raise the most money to give to Children’s Miracle Network. Golden said the goal for Nashville’s Wal-Mart this year was $15,000. Store associates raised over $1,000 during the hour-long anniversary celebration.

Golden said giving back was part of Wal-Mart’s philosophy.

“It’s part of the culture,” he said. “It’s what we do.”

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