It was an amazing year for Pineapple Willy’s, Inc. when it comes to “The Pineapple Culture” in giving back to the community and also setting an example for how hardworking and charitable our local 850 businesses can be. Below is a list of the amounts of money that were raised from 2018’s charity events. Ones to take the most notice are the Pay it Forward Week, Girls, Inc. Benefit, and the Community Beach Cleanup. The amount of work the employees put in simply out of the kindness of their hearts in phenomenal and deserves all the recognition.
- Lucky Puppy Event – February 24th, 2018 – $17,000
- March of Dimes (Boots for Babies) – April 14th, 2018 – $15,000
- Community Beach Cleanup – Summer 2018 – $12,000
- Pay it Forward – August 2018 – $120,000
- POPs Orchestra Benefit – September 28th, 2018 – $14,000
- Panhandle Strong T-shirts – October 2018 – $15,770
- Girls, Inc (Boots and Bling) – November 2nd, 2018 – $36,000
Some donations that were made beyond the rounded amounts listed are $1,000 to the Florida Police Chief Association, $800 to the Panama City Beach Senior Center, $500 to the Sponsors of Hope, $500 to the Bear Creek Feline Center, and $100 to the Friends of St. Andrews State Park.
Hurricane Michael Donations and Rebuilding
After Hurricane Michael hit on October 10, 2018 in Panama City and Panama City Beach, Pineapple Willy’s managers and employees volunteered many hours and weeks of labor and support for people of need in our community. The managers tarped roofs and removed trees and debris for people who were in dire need. There were even more employees and managers who provided a temporary home for those in need from the hurricane.
The “Panhandle Strong” shirts sold for $20, $15 of which was donated to organizations helping our local Hurricane Michael victims. Overall, the shirts raised $15,770. Pineapple Willy’s, Inc. donated $8,438 to Feeding the Gulf Coast. Feeding the Gulf Coast is an organization that provides nutritious food to people of the Gulf Coast that are in need as a result of systemic poverty, personal crisis or disaster. After another round of shirt sales $7,332 was donated to All Things Panama City Beach Outreach where $1,000 was also personally donated by Mr. Pineapple himself. In turn, ATPCB used the money to throw a huge Christmas party for children at Oakland Terrace Elementary School.
Hurricane Michael also greatly affected the historical Pineapple Willy’s pier, their roof and other damages on the property, both inside and out. Luckily, The Wicked Wheel only sustained minimal damage and was able to replace their fence and other small damages fairly quickly. While the Pineapple Willy’s pier is still in the process of being repaired, both businesses are back up and running!
I Love This Beach! Community Beach Cleanup
Last year’s Community Beach Cleanup was a huge success by raising $12,000 for 13 different local non-profit organizations. Employees, as well as other in our community, volunteered every Saturday morning to clean up our beachfront for a span of three months. For every person that showed up to volunteer, $10 was donated towards that week’s organization. This was such a huge accomplishment for the company because not only did it motivate employees to volunteer more, but they were also influencing the community to give back to local organizations by keeping our beachfront clean and safe.
About three years ago, former Pineapple Willy’s employee of six years, Tonya Stevenson, encountered a tragic car accident that left her paralyzed. Pineapple Willy’s and the Wicked Wheel held a fundraiser at The Barn in September 2017 to help raise money to purchase a stimulus bike. There was live music, dancing, food, a silent auction, and poker run put together for the fundraiser. Tonya received her bike and has said that she averages about 6 miles on it. In March of 2019, Tonya received and in-home spa day from Pineapple Willy’s as well as an Amazon Fire Tablet. Tonya says she’s currently working on fundraising ideas for a physical therapy program. This is another great example of the continued support for the employees of Pineapple Willy’s, Inc.