The "Smiles For Education" program is one of the most innovative community involvement efforts the Hy-Vee Corporation has ever undertaken. It started as a culmination of a year-long 75th Anniversary celebration in 2005, when the company donated $750,000 to K-12 schools throughout its seven-state operating area. One hundred schools received $7,500 each for the school's general education fund. The program was so well-received that it has continued annually, and a total of $500,000 has been donated to 100 randomly selected schools each year.
Each year, the Hy-Vee Corporation sponsors an eight-week program during which the names of 10 Hy-Vee stores are drawn each week. When a store is drawn, the store then gets to pull one name from its own in-store registration box. The Cherokee Hy-Vee Food Store is one of 220 Hy-Vee stores in the Midwest which participate in the annual promotion.
At the presentation ceremony on Wednesday, CMS Principal Larry Weede and Cherokee Hy-Vee Store Director Tim Hauper presented a gleeful CMS student Courtney Johnson with a new Apple white MacBook laptop computer, and the school also received a check in the amount of $5,000.
This makes a grand total of $25,000 that Hy-Vee, along with their partner Sara Lee Corporation, has given to Cherokee area schools over the past four years.
Johnson and her school were nominated by her mother, Julie Johnson, at the Cherokee Hy-Vee Food Store.