Thunderous round of applause welcomed Patti Bentley to center stage
BENTONVILLE, Ark. June 23, 2008 – Patti Bentley, a 16-year Sam’s Club associate in Lansing, received recognition by associates from almost 7000 locations throughout the world at Walmart annual Shareholders meeting. Bentley is a Marketing Team Leader who has touched the lives of Lansing and the state of Michigan with her charitable spirit and gifts to those in need.
Patti took center stage at the annual meeting with the Senior Vice President of Sam’s Club People Group, Sharon Orlopp. The 16,000 plus Associates and Shareholders in attendance gave her a standing ovation after viewing a video of the work she has done for the families of fallen soldiers in Michigan. Walmart arranged for Bentley’s family to join her for this very special award.
“When I heard Mrs. Helen [wife of Founder Sam Walton] died, I went to my office and cried,” said Bentley during her speech to Associates and Shareholders in response for her recognition. “I decided then that I would dedicate a year to her legacy by focusing on community service and outreach.”
“Patti is one of the most driven associates I have ever worked with; she brings out the best in everyone,” said Chris Axer, Sam’s Club Market Manager. “That passion comes through in her job at Sam’s Club, as well as in her desire to support individuals and organizations that could use a helping hand. I appreciate Patti for showing all of us how to touch the hearts of so many people.”
Bentley is currently planning a two day event, the Gold Star Family event, to honor the 168 fallen soldiers from Michigan and their families. She has secured monuments to be given to the hometown of each soldier in their memory. These will be presented September 13, 2008 at The Summit in Lansing, where Senator Garcia, Mayor Virg Bernero and Michigan Adjutant Major General Thomas G. Cutler are scheduled to speak. Prior to the ceremony, families will have a chance to take a dinner cruise and meet other solders’ families. This marks the third year Bentley has arranged the ceremony.
Bentley joined Sam’s Club as a cashier and later moved to maintenance before finding her niche as the Marketing Team Lead. She has served in this capacity for 3 years. During this time, she has raised money for a child suffering from a brain tumor that wished for a family vacation to the beach, raised $83,000 and arranged for volunteers to support state food banks and participated in Relay for Life among other charitable initiatives. She is presently hard at work on a Mitten Ride with the Patriot Guard Riders that will travel 1200 miles and the proceeds will go to renovations for injured soldiers’ homes, in addition to the Gold Star Family event for fallen soldiers.
About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT). The first Sam’s Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1983. Today, Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million U.S. members with locations nationwide, and in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and club information is available at samsclub.com.