The lines were already forming outside of the Big Lots on General Booth Boulevard, filled with shoppers eager to get in for the store’s grand opening.
However, before the giant orange ribbon could be cut and the doors officially opened, two Virginia Beach elementary schools were going to receive a very special donation.
As part of the grand opening ceremony, the entire Big Lots staff hosted Mayor Will Sessoms, School Board Chairwoman Beverly Anderson as well as Corporate Landing Elementary School Principal Kelly Coon and Ocean Lakes Elementary School Principal Dr. Linda Reese for a special presentation.
“Big Lots is not only committed to providing great value around the country, but we are also hoping to make a difference in our communities and look forward to being good neighbors here in the Virginia Beach area,” said Big Lots District Team Leader Eddie Egerton.
With that, Egerton called forward both Coon and Reese to provide them each a check for $2,000 for their respective schools. According to Egerton, the donations were a way to “celebrate and to say thank you to the community and welcoming us as a neighbor.”
Both administrators shared their appreciation at the event, and reiterated that these funds would go a long way.
“This will be put to good use in our schools,” Coon said. “We’ve already started a little list of things we can put the money toward.”
Specifically, Coon added, the school will use the donation to add to the school’s reading resource library as well as purchase additional math tools.
“Receiving this donation means that a local business wants to support our school and students,” Coon said. “They could have opted to give the donation to some other agency or not given it at all. The fact that they gave the donation to us means that they believe in supporting our students.”
“It shows us they value education as much as we do and they are willing to invest in our school.”
Ocean Lakes will use the funds to purchase additional flexible seating options for students in the classroom.
As she told the crowd Friday morning, “The kids are going to benefit from this.”