Campaign to support SOWI athletes arrives at Walgreens across Wisconsin

November 3, 2017 Blog


Now through November 15, you can help support SOWI athletes just by visiting your local Walgreens Pharmacy during the 2017 Special Olympics Wisconsin icon sale campaign.

More than 160 stores across the state will be offering the opportunity to purchase a Special Olympics icon for $1, $3, or $5 at checkout to help get another athlete on the playing field.

“Walgreens is a very giving company too. They give to lots of organizations and help out lots of groups like SOWI.” – SOWI athlete and Walgreens employee Jonathan Frank

It costs $552 to support a SOWI athlete for a year so those icon purchases can go a long way toward helping an athlete participate. Head Service Clerk Jonathan Frank of the Brown Deer Walgreens knows quite a bit about what it means to a SOWI athlete to be able to compete in events. When he’s not ringing up customers, stocking merchandise or helping guests to find an item, Frank participates as a SOWI athlete in bowling, basketball, athletics and bocce.

Working at Walgreens during the icon sales campaign means a lot to Frank. “A lot of people (customers) are very generous. It gives me a sense of pride that they’re generous and wanting to give to an organization like SOWI,” Frank said. “Walgreens is a very giving company too. They give to lots of organizations and help out lots of groups like SOWI.” Frank should know – he’s worked for Walgreens for more than 16 years and has been with the current Brown Deer location since it opened nearly 10 years ago.

A Walgreens team taking the Polar Plunge

A Walgreens team taking the Polar Plunge

Another person who should know a lot about Walgreens’ commitment to SOWI and other causes is Ric Varick. Varick is store manager for the Calumet Street store in Appleton and he’s been with Walgreens for 25 years. “One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job as store manager is the expectation from Walgreens that we get out in the community and make a difference. We do a lot of events, a lot of walks, a lot of fundraising,” Varick said. “Supporting Special Olympics is particularly meaningful because of the difference they make in so many of our customers’ lives.”

As with many employees at Walgreens, that support goes beyond the icon sale campaign. In 2018 Varick will be jumping in his fourth Polar Plunge with a team from Walgreens. According to Varick, 40 Walgreens employees have already committed to plunge in the 2018 Polar Plunges.

Like Varick says, the employees of Walgreens understand well the impact SOWI can have on athletes like their very own Frank. He is about to have an extraordinary year athletically in 2018 when he gets to attend the USA Games in Seattle as part of Team Wisconsin’s bocce squad. It will be especially memorable for him because his wife, Rachel, was also selected to represent Team Wisconsin’s bocce squad.


2018 Team Wisconsin athlete and Walgreens employee Jonathan Frank

“I’m really looking forward to seeing a different part of the country, participating with my wife, and gaining new friendships,” Frank said.

Of course, one way to make sure this happens for Frank and his USA Games teammates is by supporting SOWI through the Walgreens campaign. In 2016, Walgreens stores in Wisconsin raised $32,593 for SOWI athletes. Help Walgreens and SOWI surpass that in 2017 so athletes like Jonathan and Rachel Frank can continue to see the field.

And if you find yourself in the Brown Deer Walgreens during the campaign and you spot a clerk wearing his Special Olympics medal, make sure to wish Jonathan good luck in 2018 USA Games!

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