Bashas’ & Food City Customers Invited to Help Arizona Students with CENTennial Penny Drive

Be prepared to search through kitchen drawers and look under couch cushions for pennies, as K-8 students in Arizona start collecting pennies for the statewide CENTennial Penny Drive.

Now through April 15, 2011, every K-8 student in Arizona is invited to collect 100 pennies to help to resurface, reseal and polish the State Capitol’s Copper Dome.

“Due to budgetary constraints, the Copper Dome has not been cleaned in almost 20 years,” said Karen Churchard, executive director of the Arizona Centennial Commission. “The Copper Dome serves as the centerpiece for the state’s Centennial celebrations, and the Penny Drive will help pay to bring it back to its shiny brilliance.”

The Arizona Centennial Commission created the CENTennial Penny Drive to encourage enthusiasm among K-8 students in the celebration of Arizona’s 100th Birthday on February 14, 2012. Schools can sign up to participate at http://www.arizona100.org.

“We’re encouraging every Arizonan to help these students with their Penny Drive,” said Edward Basha, Vice President of Retail Operations for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “You can help by rounding up your Bashas’ or Food City grocery bill to the next dollar, or making an open amount donation at any register. The Coinstar machines in our stores also will be available to help students, parents and teachers track how many pennies they’ve collected.”

The school that collects the most pennies will win the grand prize: a visit from Arizona’s beautifully copper-plated motorcycle (the “copper chopper”) and a pizza party for the entire school, hosted by Eddie Basha. Dozens of other prizes will also be awarded, such as visits to a historic copper mine and ice cream socials.

As children throughout the state collect pennies to clean the Copper Dome, they will learn about Arizona’s rich history, including the importance of copper and philanthropy, and other lessons related to statehood and governance.

According to Churchard, the goal of the drive is to collect $65,000 – or 6.5 million pennies. If the fund raising goal is exceeded, additional funds will be endowed to refurbish memorials in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza and maintain Centennial trees planted on Washington Street.

It’s no coincidence that the Penny Drive runs for 48 school days. Arizona was the 48th State admitted to the Union, and February 9 is the day in 1912 that voters of the Arizona Territory overwhelming approved a new state constitution.  Five days later Arizona’s statehood bill was signed into law by U.S. President William Howard Taft.

About the Arizona Centennial Commission:


The Arizona Centennial Commission and its non-profit Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation is comprised of distinguished Arizonans from public and private life, and is committed to involving all Arizonans to help fulfill the Centennial vision: “To appreciate our state’s rich past, celebrate the present, and together, create a vibrant and sustainable future.”  For more information, visit www.arizona100.org
About Bashas’ Family of Stores:


Bashas’ Family of Stores – the family-owned grocer that operates Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Sportsman’s Wine & Spirits, Eddie’s Country Store, and both Bashas’ and Bashas’ Diné supermarkets – is an Arizona-based company founded by brothers Ike and Eddie Basha, Sr. With 8,000 members and 132 grocery stores, it is one of the largest employers in the state and one of the Best Places to Work in Arizona. Since the company’s inception in 1932, Bashas’ has given back more than $100 million to the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.bashas.com and www.myfoodcity.com.

  • Countdown to Centennial Begins (ABC15.com)
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One Response to Bashas’ & Food City Customers Invited to Help Arizona Students with CENTennial Penny Drive

  1. Allison says:

    I am all for kids being involved in a centennial celebration, but asking them to raise money for something that the state can’t afford while funding for public schools is being cut smacks of something rather unpleasant.
    Also, shouldn’t they be learning about Arizona state history anyway?

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