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Author: chezjohn Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 81885  
Subject: Update on the bookgrrl santa project Date: 12/10/2002 7:33 PM
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OK, I called that lil' church in Chicago back, and Minister Williams (a lady) had all the grocery store info that I asked her for....4 different stores, addresses and phone numbers. Very organized and precise information. She seemed overwhelmed by what was happening - to the point of crying. She was not computer literate...had no computer at her disposal, either at the church or at her home...and had never heard of The Motley Fool. I explained the best I could...told her it was *she* who was special...in doing God's work every day...and we just wanted to lend her a hand.

Then I called all 4 grocery stores in Chicago. Didn't make much headway there, as this was too big of a project (my goal is 300 turkeys) for the store-level managers to make a decision...so a couple of them are going to call their corporate offices...and supposed to call me back tomorrow. I got a corporate number from one of them, and called the corporate office myself...but they wanted me to jump through so many hoops, red tape, fill out forms, blah blah blah...I just told her I'd give the Minister her number...and they could work out the details. I don't want to get caught up in that loop. One store said the best price they could do NOW is $79/lb - but as Christmas draws nearer...the price would drop. He wouldn't commit to a firm price...but suggested mebbe $.49/lb. At that price, a 12 lb turkey would cost $6.00 ~ 300 of them will cost $1,800

OK, so now...armed with some numbers...I started calling/emailing some of my old friends in the food/hospitality industry. MOST of them still remembered me <g>....gotta remember, I've been out of the business for several years, and don't have the contacts I once had. I told them what we were doing, and gave them the name & number of the church...so they can verify with Minister Williams the authenticity of this project....and told them I would email them the information of the grocery store we select...probably tomorrow.

Next I went to the National Restaurant Association website, and found a list of companies that bring turkeys/hams to market, i.e., ConAgra, Farmland, Jennie-O, Butterball, etc....and I went to each company website...and emailed a nice letter to 2-3 of the company mucky-mucks....requesting that they donate turkeys/hams to this effort. I suppose I sent out about 30 emails to about 12-13 companies. Additionally, I identified about 8-9 big food brokerage houses in the Chicago area. These brokers act as a liason between the manufacturing companies....and the local Chicago food wholesalers. They are connected to the right people...who can make these decisions...right there in Chicago. I put them in touch with Minister Williams, as well.

Then I fired off a couple of emails to the Gardner boys @ The Motely Fool. I figured since they have their hand in my pocket...I could reach into theirs. I challenged them to buy the first 100 turkeys - and also asked them to send out a mass email to all the Fools in Fooldom...with information about this project...and how folks can get involved, if they should so choose. My plan is to get TMF to spring for the first 100 turkeys ($600) - corporate sponsorships spring for the second 100 turkeys ($600) - and hopefully the third 100 turkeys will come from the manufacturers and/or brokerage houses in Chicago.

Last, but not least, our buddy EZ3 emailed me this afternoon...and wanted to make a generous cash donation. I am going to match his donation...and anyone else who wants to join us can just follow the link BD posted....and send your check to bookgrrl or directly to Minister Williams.

Ho Ho Ho
OneHorseOpenChez
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