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    Wal-Mart stores pride themselves on customer service and no where was that more true, on 20 March 2004, than store #1693! When DCMF's special customer, 9 year old Donato Franco, wished for a shopping spree at Wal-Mart, our Executive Director Corky Bell contacted the management at Redlands Wal-Mart store #1693. Assistant Manager, Linda, said they would have everything ready to go to make Donato's day very special. Donato was picked up at his home in San Bernardino in a beautiful white limousine and was given a basket of custom made cookies prepared by Linda Sanders of "Cookies by Design", in Palm Desert. Upon arrival at Wal-Mart, Donato was greeted by an entourage of eager employees with specially prepared baskets adorned with balloons and his own personal Wal-Mart vest (with name tag), ready to make his wish come true.

    After surviving the paparazzi photo shoot often enjoyed by celebrities, Donato was ready to shop! His first stop was the electronics department (naturally, he is a man) where his baskets were filled with such goodies as a 20 inch Television, Computer System, Video Camera, Play station II, Video Games and Movies Galore! The store employees went above and beyond to ensure that Donato received everything he wanted. Employee, Paul, even volunteered his time to drive to another store to pick up a home theater system which was out of stock at store #1693. Talk about red carpet treatment! Furthering his shopping pleasure, Donato moved on to the Toy Department where he chose a brilliant lime green bicycle, a remote control hummer and speed boat. Alas, the time came to wrap up his wish and head for the checkout stand where a friendly employee would tally up his bounty.

    But Wal-Mart Management wasn't quite satisfied yet with all that Donato had. The store Manager and Assistant Store Manager decided to up the ante and after a brief discussion they surprised Donato with an Electric Scooter, CD's and more Movies.
Now, who can we get to add up this mountain of purchases? Any suggestions???
But wait a minute! Who better to checkout these purchases than a rookie Wal-Mart employee in training! That's right, Donato was put to work behind the check stand
scanning his own purchases under the trained eye of a veteran cashier. All in all this was a great day for a great kid and an experience that he will remember for the rest of his life

    DCMF thanks Wal-Mart Store #1693 Managers Dwight, John and Linda, store employees Debbie and Paul, Cookies by Design Owner Linda Sanders and West Coast Transportation for making this dream come true. Seeing Donato smile was the payoff that we all work for.

Annette Bell
DCMF Director