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Volume 15, Issue 6 ~ February 8 - February 14, 2007

Santa Returns to Anne Arundel Charities

Holiday’s Shop to Care program raises $20k for local charities

by Carrie Madren

If Christmas shopping took you to Westfield Annapolis, your spending bought more than a towel set for Aunt Susie.

In the eight weeks of Shop to Care, customers’ receipts earned points for their favorite of 30 registered charities. The highest point-getters won real cash.

Now Westfield Annapolis has awarded $20,000 to 20 local non-profits.

Twenty local non-profits, including the Special Needs Trust of Joseph A. Lombardo, named after the 22-year-old Lombardo who suffered brain injuries in a 2003 car accident and pictured at right, split $20,000 raised over the Christmas holidays in Westfield Annnapolis’ Shop to Care program.

Winning the grand prize — a check for $5,000 — was the Special Needs Trust of Joseph A. Lombardo, which accumulated 79,441.24 points, equating to that many dollars spent.

The 22-year-old Lombardo, of Arnold, suffered traumatic brain injuries in a 2003 car accident. Medical care has mounted to nearly one million dollars — and brought hope. Lombardo was able to speak a few words at the awards ceremony.

“A lot of people in this community know him and have been extremely gracious,” says his mother, Mary Lombardo, of this and other donations. News of their need was passed by word of mouth.

In second place, the SPCA of Anne Arundel County earned 37,534.56 points, snagging one of 10 runner-up checks.

“We had a lot of people helping, but coming in second was a surprise,” says director Sue Beatty. Their $1,000 will buy medicine for homeless animals.

The nine other $1,000 winners are Georgetown East Elementary School; Arundel Lodge, which helps adults with mental illness; Annapolis Area Ministries; Light House Shelter; Temple Solel Sisterhood; Edgewater Elementary School PTA; Changing Focus; Aleph Bet Jewish Day School; El Centro de Ayuda; and Maryland Hall.

Nine more charities earning more than 2,500 points split the final $5,000.

Maryland’s trio of Westfield shopping malls — also in Wheaton and Bethesda — piloted the program for the Westfield national company, which will determine if Shop to Care continues. Either way, marketing director Scott de Graffenreid promises, Westfield Annapolis will sponsor a charity event next holiday season.

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