More than 100 children, adults, seniors, and H-E-B representatives came to a Spurs-themed pep rally Wednesday to honor the neighborhood H-E-B store on 1012 S. W. W. White Rd., which has been serving the surrounding Eastside community for more than 50 years.
The free celebration took place outside the store, located near the intersection of S. W. W. White Road and Martin Luther King Drive, from 5-7:30 p.m.
“Thanks for joining us this evening as we celebrate our W. W. White store serving the community for more than 50 years,” H-E-B West Region Public Affairs Manager Christine Taylor told the crowd. “That’s more than five decades, and we’re beyond grateful for your continued support day after day, and year after year.”
In honor of the anniversary, H-E-B donated $50,000 to two organizations in the area.
The Young Men’s Leadership Academy (YMLA), the city’s first public all-boys school, received $25,000 to continue its mission of cultivating success for young men in San Antonio.
“(The academy) helps boys … build the kind of strong internal foundation that is necessary for external success, and helps them achieve that potential by setting high expectations and emphasizing character, leadership, and discipline,” Taylor said.
In addition, the San Antonio Parks Foundation received $25,000 to improve Copernicus Park.
H-E-B Community Coordinator Toni Moorhouse told the Rivard Report the funds will help maintain the park for future families to enjoy.
The ceremony also included a special recognition of H-E-B employee Idell Bean, who has served H-E-B for 47 years, 30 of which have been at the W. W. White store.
“In recognition of our amazing partner, Idell, we’ll also be dedicating a special bench in her honor at the park,” Taylor said.
Bean also was awarded four Spurs tickets in recognition of her years of work with the grocery chain.
Taylor told the Rivard Report that this is the first big donation that H-E-B has given to the YMLA and the park, and called the endeavor “the first of its kind and of this size.”
Entertainment at the event included performances by the Sam Houston High School marching band and dance team – which will represent San Antonio in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. – the Spurs Silver Dancers and Spurs Coyote, and H-E-Buddy. The San Antonio Spurs RV and H-E-B Community Vehicles also were on-site and adults and children alike enjoyed games, face painting, music, sliders and snacks, and tasty frozen treats from an H-E-B ice cream truck.
Attendees chanted “Go, Spurs, Go!” throughout the festivities and dozens of children participated in face painting activities and other games. A highlight of the evening was a performance by the Spurs’ Team Energy group, who riled up the crowd with dancing, jumps, and flips.
County Commissioner Tommy Calvert (Pct. 4) also was present at the event and told the Rivard Report that he came to the neighborhood’s H-E-B as a kid, and still does.
“I was born one block from here,” Calvert said. “This is my neighborhood H-E-B, and I have very fond memories.”
Calvert was impressed by the turnout of the event and praised H-E-B for its constant commitment to education in the state of Texas.
“They are a constant financial donor to our organizations and we appreciate the contributions,” he added.
“We give back to the community to thank them for all that they do for us as customers,” Taylor told the Rivard Report. “It’s their neighborhood and we want to help make it a more stable place for them.”
The H-E-B store on W.W. White Rd. includes a pharmacy, gas station, and business center. It is open Monday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
To learn more about H-E-B, click here.
Full disclosure: H-E-B and Charles Butt are contributors to the Rivard Report.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article had a headline reading that H-E-B donated $50M, when it donated $50K.