The newest Palais Royal location (2650 Pearland Pkwy) celebrated its grand opening Thursday (Nov. 20) with a check presentation to Toys for Tots.
Its parent company, Stage Stores, Inc., donated $100,000 to the non-profit and kicked off its “Bears that Care” program, which consists of holiday-themed, custom designed bears available for purchase.
For every bear sold, $1 goes to Toys For Tots. They will use the money to buy and distribute toys for Christmas gifts to local less fortunate families.
“The employees have been so excited to get to come down here,” said District Manager Mary Jo Taylor.
“You’re all so loyal to our other locations and you’re going to absolutely love what you see. And for those of you that are wondering if we have the same associates, yes we do!” she said.
“It takes a village to open a store like that in four days. But of that is for naught if we didn’t have all of you coming out to shop,” Store Manager Fran McCarty said to the crowd gathered at the front doors.
Roger Blanchard, Senior Vice President of Stores, Stage Stores, Inc. explained the “Bears that Care” program.
“Every year there are children across our nation that do not experience the joy of Christmas morning. Many families in our community have been hit hard by the economy, which is why we feel that it’s important for our Stage Stores family to help children everywhere to have this opportunity,” he said.
“That’s why this holiday season, Stage Stores will launch the sale of holiday-themed ‘Bears that Care’ with $1 of the sale of each Teddy going directly to help make Christmas bright for children everywhere. You can purchase a bear at our new Pearland Palais Royal store as well as 858 other stores across the country,” Blanchard added.
Blanchard then turned to Retired Major, USMC and Vice President of Marketing & Development for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Bill Grein.
“I’m happy to announce today that Stage Stores is donating the amount of $100,000 to Toys for Tots, a non-profit that has been instrumental in making sure more children experience the joy and wonder of the holidays,” said Blanchard.
“I’m the luckiest guy here today, obviously. I’m going to walk away with $100,000!” Grein joked.
“It’s not for me, but for some less fortunate children across the country. Over the last four years, Stage Stores has raised for us nearly a half million dollars. That’s enough money to fulfill the Christmas dreams of 50,000 less fortunate children. Over the next five weeks, Sgt. Castillo [Eric Castillo, Toys for Tots Houston Coordinator] and 760 other Toys for Tots coordinators across the country will be shopping for seven million less fortunate children. We truly thank you,” said Grein.
With that, the ribbon was cut and the doors were opened to a line of shoppers that had been waiting for up to an hour to get a glimpse inside the store and take advantage of the holiday sales.
Mayor Tom Reid arrived a little late for the ceremony.
“I had a Chamber of Commerce meeting,” he said. “I left at nine till nine, but I missed it!”
Taylor chatted with Reid and showed him around the store.
“This is really nice,” said Reid, who is a long-time patron of Palais Royal. “I’m so glad this store is bigger!”
Shoppers appeared to feel the same way as they made their way through the men’s, women’s and children’s departments, along with the home, intimates, shoes, cosmetics and fragrance departments.
Source: The Pearland Journal