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Hy-Vee Donates Gymnastics Superstars Tickets To Local Charities

November 5, 2008 | News & Press Releases

Donation gives children in need a chance to see Iowa’s golden girl perform

WEST DES MOINES, IA – Hy-Vee has purchased and donated 500 tickets to the hottest show in central Iowa—the 2008 Tour of Gymnastics Superstars—to five children’s charities. The country’s most celebrated Olympic gymnasts, including West Des Moines gold medalist Shawn Johnson, will perform in Des Moines on Friday, Nov. 14.

Variety—The Children’s Charity of Iowa, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, Orchard Place, Special Olympics of Iowa and Make-A-Wish Foundation each received 100 tickets to the sports and music extravaganza.

“Shawn Johnson has provided inspiration and motivation to many people around the world, none more so than in her home state. We wanted to make sure as many children as possible, especially those who are challenged, at-risk or in need, had the opportunity to see their hero perform in person,” said Jon Wendel, Hy-Vee vice president, marketing.

Hy-Vee is giving an additional 200 tickets away in partnership with WHO radio. Listeners can pre-register for a chance to win those tickets on the Van & Bonnie morning show between November 3 and November 13.
Hy-Vee signed on to sponsor Johnson citing her dedication to a healthy lifestyle through sport. But it isn’t just her exceptional athletic abilities that caught the company’s eye. It was her infectious personality and solid Midwest character traits that she exhibits whether in or out of the limelight.

That was evidenced on a global scale in Beijing. The Chinese women’s gymnastics team topped the United States for the gold medal and teammate Nastia Liukin edged out Johnson for the Olympic all-around title. Johnson won another silver medal in floor exercise and eventually prevailed in her quest for gold on the balance beam.

“No one but Shawn would consider one gold and three silver medals a sub-par Olympic performance,” said Wendel. “Yet the level of sportsmanship she exhibited in the face of disappointment made her an instant role model. We hear from customers all the time about how proud they are of Shawn. We wanted to give people a chance to show their appreciation. Seeing Shawn perform along with all the other Olympic superstars will be a real treat for everyone in the audience that night.”

The show features a different type of gymnastics than that seen under the rigors of competition. Gone are the stone faces of deep concentration. On tour, the gymnasts combine breathtaking skills with graceful flexibility in routines choreographed to music. The atmosphere is fun, relaxed and very entertaining. In addition to the men and women of Olympic Team USA, the show features music from The Disney Music Group and a live performance from recording artist Jordan Pruitt.

The Des Moines stop is one of the last of a tour that began September 7 in Reno, Nev. and ends November 16 in Kansas City, Mo.

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 224 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. For 2007 the company recorded total sales of $5.6 billion, ranking it among the top 30 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States.