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Belk planning semi-annual Charity Sale

May 3 event a fund-raiser for non-profit organizations

March 18, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Belk is giving local non-profits a chance to raise some money with its semi-annual Charity Sale.

The sale, which will take place Saturday, May 3, from 6-10 a.m., is a ticketed event that features deep discounts throughout the store. Organizations can sign up to sell tickets, keeping 100 percent of the sales.

"It's really a way that Belk tries to give back to the communities that we're in," Cathy Norwood, the manager of the Cape Coral store on Surfside Boulevard, said. "We have this event twice a year."

The tickets cost $5 each, but they also serve as a $5 off coupon the day of the sale.

As of Tuesday, 19 groups were already signed up and selling.

"It's normally about 40," she said of the final tally.

With each sale, the company's hope is to increase the number of participating non-profits.

"Our goal is just to continue to add charities to every event," Norwood said.

It is the seventh year that the Cape store has hosted the sales, which take place in the spring and fall. Last November, about 5,000 tickets were sold, translating into about $25,000 for the local groups.

"I think, ultimately, it's about a partnership with the non-profits here, the local community and our store," she said. "Just really trying to keep the money here in the Cape Coral community."

Norwood cited the Cape Coral Art League, which has taken part in every sale, as one example.

"This is one of their main fund-raisers," she said. "They specifically use the money for scholarships."

Companywide, the Charity Sales raised more than $10 million last year for local communities.

Norwood explained that the participating organizations can sell tickets to just family and friends or go bigger and aim for the general public. Some sell a couple dozen tickets, while others sell hundreds.

In the past, some of the participants have included Oma's Heart, the Cape Royal Community Foundation, P.A.W.S. Lee County and area hospitals, like Lee Memorial, HealthPark and the Cape.

Tickets can be sold up to and even during the sale. Belk, however, also offers the non-profits a chance to sell tickets in store in the weeks leading up to the event. Groups can sign up for a day and time.

"It makes it a little easier to sell," she said, adding that the spots are first come, first served.

Some of the exclusive discounts that will be available at the sale include:

n Extra 50 percent off of clearance items

n 50 percent to 60 percent off of fine jewelry, diamonds, pearls and gold

n Extra 20 percent off of home department items

n 20 percent to 25 percent off of women's clothing

"Shoes is another really big deal - 25 percent off," Norwood said.

To sign up for the Charity Sale fund-raiser, contact Cathy Norwood at (239) 282-5692 or Groups request the number of tickets that they plan to sell, then fill out a form when they pick them up at the store. Flyers for the sale are also available to them.

Non-profits will need to provide a contact person and their non-profit tax identification number.

Belk is at 2342 Surfside Blvd., in Cape Coral.



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