NORTH TAZEWELL, Va. -- Acme Markets of Virginia here teamed with its vendors to sponsor a food fair that raised money for four local charities.
The event, the second annual Acme Markets Food Festival of the Two Virginias, was held in Bluefield, W.Va., on April 23, and was attended by over 5,000 people.
"We had a very good turnout. People were lined up all day long, and there was a constant 45-minute wait to get inside the armory," Bob Downum, chief operating officer for the 10-unit operator, told SN.
More than 100 booths for manufacturers were set up inside the armory. Participating suppliers included Hostess Cakes, M&M/ Mars, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Snapple, Tyson Food, Kraft General Foods and Kellogg's, which brought a racing car.
"All of the big companies were there. I don't believe there is a big company that didn't come," Downum said.
"They handed out free samples of food items, and things like that, and it made it a real festive occasion. We had six NASCAR race cars there, because racing is a big deal around here," he said.
Downum said Acme raised over $30,000 for two local Salvation Army chapters, the Bluefield Union Mission and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"Our admission was $3 for adults and $2 for children and all of the funds went to the charities. The whole purpose of the festival was to raise money for the charities. That's very good for a one-day event," Downum said.
"To merchandise the event we tied-in with the local TV station that co-sponsored it with us, plus we did our own newspaper advertising," he said.
Downum said Acme will hold another food festival next year, which promises to be even bigger.
"Bill Crowe, our company president, decided last year to raise money for the Bluefield Union Mission, with which he is heavily involved. He was trying to find the best way to raise money for the mission, and so he came up with the idea for the food fair. As we got into it last year we decided to add the other charities," Downum said.