MONTVALE, N.J. -- Holy cow! A&P here teamed up with two of its vendors -- Keebler and Coca-Cola -- to go to bat for a favorite charity of New York Yankees legend Phil Rizzuto.
In the three-week promotion, A&P donated five cents to the St. Joseph's School for the Blind in Jersey City, N.J., for every package of Keebler products or Coca-Cola 12-pack purchased.
"Last year we got into the program with Keebler, and it happened that it is Phil Rizzuto's favorite charity. What we did was to work out a promotion with Keebler where a certain amount of every package sold would go to St. Joseph's. We are taking what is normally called a vendor promotion allowance and we are forgoing that to support this program," explained William Vitulli, vice president of government and community relations at A&P.
"We raised about $25,000 last year and we expect to double that this year. That is our goal," he told SN.
A&P sponsored the promotion in its metro New York region, which encompasses A&P, Waldbaum's and Food Emporium stores in New York City; Long Island; Westchester County, N.Y.; northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.
Vitulli said A&P used extensive in-store displays, along with chances to win a trip to the World Series and other prizes as incentives to generate interest in the fund-raiser. A golf tournament was also held in conjunction with St. Joseph's.
The event was also advertised in A&P's weekly circular. As part of the promotion, any package of Keebler Town House crackers or Chips Deluxe cookies was $1.99, while a 2-liter bottle of Coke was 99 cents with a coupon.
In the circular, A&P used the headline "Holy Cow!" a catch phrase made popular by Rizzuto, a television announcer for the team for 39 years. Rizzuto was also the team's shortstop during the late 1940s and 1950s.