Tax-deductible donation makes real differences in lives of real people This Saturday, April 16, Rockford area residents will have the opportunity to help others and put a little tax deduction into their finances. A manned Salvation Army truck will be at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to Diane Tabor, who schedules truck pick-ups, spring is a good time for donating, as people clean out closets and do other spring cleaning activities. Donations are also tax deductible and go to a very good cause. Forms for tax deductions will be provided at the time of donation. “The Salvation Army helps those whose lives have fallen apart due to various reasons such as addictions,” Tabor said. Currently there are about 100 beneficiaries whose full-time job while tending to recovery is to sort donations. The sale of donations at Salvation Army’s area stores is responsible for funding this and the international humanitarian aid Salvation Army provides. Dave Brickner, store manager at Ric’s, said the hosting of the truck is typical for the family-owned grocery. The store also donates to a food pantry on a daily basis, and has a Mel Trotter donation box on-site every day. Giving back to the community that supports the store is not only Brickner’s philosophy but also that of the family that owns the several Ric’s Food Centers in Michigan. “We try to give back to the community whenever we can,” Brickner said. Tabor said clothing that is in good condition—no stains or tears—appliances that work, household goods and furniture are all among the items that are typically donated and are available for sale. The truck at Ric’s will have people there to help unload items, and trucks make regular pick-ups in the Rockford area for those who don’t have the means to transport large items. The Salvation Army has a guide online to estimate the value of donated items and the tax refunds available may be a surprise. A child’s snowsuit may be worth up to $19, a bed may be valued at $170, and a complete dining room set may be worth up to $900. See donation values at www.satruck.com/donation-value-guide. To find out more or to schedule a pick-up at your home or […]
Ric’s Food Center
by BETH ALTENA The holidays never tasted so good, with music, sleigh rides and Santa, too, during the holiday Taste of Ric’s held Saturday, Dec. 4 at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road in Rockford. Store director Dave Brickner said the turnout was fantastic with an estimated 4,000 people showing up to sample hot kielbasa and meatballs, fresh produce, tasty deli sandwiches and wraps, and much more. A visit with Santa and plenty of holiday music and activities for children made the day seem like a party. “I don’t know how it just keeps getting bigger and better, but it does,” said Brickner. Andy Woodrick, owner of the store, took in the sights and sounds and the busy activity of the day. The store hosts seasonal “Taste” events, but the Christmas theme of the December one found visitors in happy moods. “This holiday one really seems to have taken off,” Woodrick stated. “It’s nice to see our neighbors.” Ric’s Food Center is a Michigan family business, offering traditional full-service neighborhood grocery stores. Ric’s has been operating since 1977, when founder Richard Woodrick opened the first store in Mt. Pleasant. Today, under the direction of Richard’s son Andy Woodrick and his wife Monica Reynolds, Ric’s proudly serves the communities of Interlochen, Ithaca, Hemlock, Mount Pleasant and Rockford.
Public invited to help others in need When Ric’s Food Center planned opening their doors three years ago, they knew there would be extra product—produce, deli and more—that would go unsold yet still be perfectly good. The family-owned company looked around Rockford for a deserving charity and found Lean on Me Outreach. “We give them about $1,000 worth a day,” said Ric’s Store Director Dave Brickner. Brickner said the store’s dedication to offering fresh, perfectly presented items from baked goods, produce and deli—and even the products on the shelf that shoppers might not think of as having expiration dates, such as cereal, pastas and canned goods—mean there is good food and non-food items as well to be donated to Lean on Me. Brickner said Ric’s is inviting the public to give if they are able during a food/product drive on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Lean on Me truck will be at the Ric’s Food Center, 6769 Belding Road, open for donations. “We do this at all our Ric’s stores,” Brickner said of the company. Being actively involved in the community in which each of the five stores is located is a philosophy that is particularly evident at the Rockford Ric’s. The store sponsors the Rockford High School Athlete of the Week each week in The Rockford Squire and stepped up in this year’s Community Expo, offering free food samples. A Taste of Ric’s—coming up soon on December 4 at the store—is a big event with free food samples from dozens of vendors and live entertainment, all free to the public. Brickner said the store donates not just food, but product the store decides not to sell. When the store switched brands of non-food product, it was decided not to keep the old brand on the shelves with the new, and all that product—shampoo, toothbrushes, diapers and more—went to Lean on Me. Lean on Me director Lisa Shaffer said the facility, the outreach ministry of Resurrection Life Church, is unique among charities in that it does not require people to prove need in order to receive aid. Located at 11555 Edgerton Avenue, Lean on Me offers food box and other product pick-up three days a week, no questions asked. She […]
Michigan weather was as fickle as its reputation Saturday, May 1 with a stormy morning giving way to a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. The crowds at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road, proved reliable, however, as the parking lot and store were filled with visitors to the Spring Taste of Ric’s event from noon to 4 p.m. Store Director Dave Brickner was happy with the turnout after his staff and store vendors worked hard to prepare for a successful event with samples, music, prizes and plenty of smiles down the aisles. “We had a lot to compete with,” Brickner said, noting that many other festivals and events were held the same day. Brickner believes the strong turnout shows how much people enjoy the customer appreciation events the store holds several times a year. He said vendors and staff all look forward to offering samples of their product to a pleased public. “It makes sense,” Brickner said. “This is their chance to showcase their product to hundreds and hundreds of people all in one day.”
Store Director David Brickner said he doesn’t mind the case of nerves he gets before a tasting event at Ric’s Food Center. “You can really sense the energy and how excited everyone is,” he said of the events the store at 6767 Belding Road hosts several times a year. “Each one has only been bigger and better than the one before,” he stated. The spring Taste of Ric’s is Saturday, May 1 from noon to 4 p.m. The last Taste of Ric’s was in December, 2009 in the middle of a Michigan snow and ice storm. Hundreds still turned out for the free taste samples and other in-store events of the day. Brickner said his department managers and dozens of vendors offer their free samples and recipe advice, and that interacting with so many people is a treat and a pleasure. “They see the value in it, too. This is a way they can showcase their product to hundreds and hundreds of people in one day,” Brickner pointed out. Brickner said his store, like the other Ric’s Food Centers, look for local suppliers where possible. These types of providers—often smaller businesses—have a strong passion for their product. Brickner used the example of Janie’s Cookie Company, which is located in Grand Rapids and is a small business success story. Ric’s corporate, Brickner said, believes strongly in the value of building relationships—with their vendors, their customers, and their communities. “I feel really fortunate to be part of a company that believes in that, because I believe in that, too,” Brickner said. He said the employees at the store look forward to special events as much as the customers do, and their enthusiasm contributes to the success of the day. “All I had to do was drop the word and vendors started signing up for this,” Brickner stated. “Customers love to see us do something so fun. We know by their response that they love it.” Brickner credits his staff with much of the success in events such as these and in the store itself. This is another philosophy that comes from corporate but goes right down to every individual involved in the company. “I’m a person who gets very animated about things,” he said. “Everyone around gets […]