WAYNE, N.J. -- Grand Union Co. here rewarded high school students who threw alcohol- and chemical-free graduation parties by helping to pay for the refreshments.
For the fifth straight year, the retailer sent senior classes that submitted a signed letter from their principal stating they were throwing a chemical-free party a $50 Grand Union gift certificate that could be used to purchase nonalcoholic beverages for the class party. The certificate also could be used to buy food and snacks.
"Grand Union is a citizen in all of the 226 communities in which we operate stores," said Donald Vaillancourt, corporate vice president of corporate communications and consumer affairs. "We feel it is important to do whatever we can to encourage activities like Project Graduation and alcohol- and chemical-free parties for our youth."
Although he declined to release specific figures, Vaillancourt said the program has been growing in popularity every year.
Although Grand Union does not merchandise the program in its stores, the chain advertises it in a strip ad in its weekly roto circulars. The strip contains a coupon which the high school principal signs, confirming that the graduation party will be drug and alcohol free. The coupon is then affixed to the letterhead of the high school and mailed to Grand Union's headquarters, where it is processed.