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Competing grocers join forces for local children

FORT KENT, Maine — The owners of the only two grocery stores in town are used to competing for people’s business, but for the month of March, Paradis Shop ‘n Save and John’s Shurfine will also vie to see which can raise the most funds for local youngsters. 

The grocers have agreed to participate in a “Round It Up” fundraiser to support the FKCHS/VRMS Athletic Booster Club.

John’s and Shop ‘n Save cashiers will ask customers if they would like to round up the total amount of their purchases to the next dollar. For example, if a customer buys $12.83 cents worth of goods at one of the stores, the customer will have the option to round up the amount and pay to $13. The 17 cent difference will be collected for the Booster Club.

Paradis Shop ‘n Save sponsors the Round It Up program yearlong for various organizations, and has raised money in the past for the Booster Club through the fundraiser. Booster Club organizers suggested the idea of adding a friendly competition to the mix, by asking John’s Shurfine to join the fundraiser for a month.

Jessica Audibert, co-owner of John’s Shurfine, immediately got on board.

“We thought it would be fun,” she said. “I think people like the fact that the two grocery stores in town which are considered competition would do something like this, making it a fun competition between us.”

Shop ‘n Save co-owner Dawn Daigle also liked the idea.

Audibert and Daigle have been good friends since they were young students themselves, both ladies said, and their parents owned the grocery stores before them.

“We’ve been dealing with each of us having a grocery store since third grade and here we are as adults,” Daigle said. “It’s a fun thing for us to do together. It’s a very friendly competition for the benefit of the children.”

Audibert agreed that the Round It Up battle between the stores is about the children.

“I think it’s good for our kids to be involved in sports and learn sportsmanship. This is just a way to keep it going, to help buy uniforms to help them to travel,” she said. “It’s for the kids really.”

In the meantime, the owners of John’s Shurfine and Paradis Shop ‘n Save will continue to prove what good sports they are when at the end of the month they will combine the money they raise from the Round It Up fundraiser and present a single check to the Booster Club. That way, both stores, and in particular the local middle-school and high-school athletes, can all declare victory.

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