FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Sep-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Jodi Boulier has always wanted to see a NASCAR race in person. The spouse of a retired soldier is also a loyal patron of the Fort Lewis Commissary at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
On Sept. 10, Boulier’s race wish and her commissary loyalty collided when she won free groceries for a year and a trip to Virginia for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond’s International Raceway (RIR).
As the grand prize winner of the “Kellogg’s Win Groceries for a Year! Richmond Racing Sweepstakes,” Boulier and her family were flown to Richmond for the weekend, given access passes to watch the race at RIR with driver Greg Biffle’s pit crew and awarded $6,000 in Commissary Gift Cards – the equivalent value of free commissary groceries for a year.
“I get to shop free for a year. This helps big time,” said Boulier, whose husband, Ronald, is a retired Army sergeant first class. “We’ve got diapers to buy for grandkids, so that’s going to help a lot.
Boulier won the grand prize after purchasing participating Kellogg’s products and having her Commissary Rewards Card scanned, which automatically entered her in the sweepstakes.
Contests like this are part of the ancillary benefit of giveaways and special promotions provided to commissary patrons through DeCA’s industry partners, said Marye Dobson, the agency’s program manager for the Commissary Rewards Card.
“This promotion was only available for patrons like Jodi who used their Commissary Rewards Card,” Dobson said. “Besides the savings and convenience of digital coupons, the card gives our shoppers access to promotions and contests that also help them maximize their benefit.”
During the military appreciation event held at RIR before the race, hundreds of active duty military members, retirees, veterans and their families enjoyed free food, drinks, music, a race car simulator, giveaways of Commissary Gift Cards, and NASCAR and Kellogg’s merchandise freebies. They also heard from Biffle, driver of the No. 16 “Cheez-It Ford Fusion,” who spoke about the race, his career and his appreciation of the military.
When specifically asked about military commissaries, Biffle was quick to give the benefit a shout out: “I know how important the support of a pit crew is to the success of a driver. Likewise, the commissary provides our military and their families’ invaluable service and support as they successfully serve our great country.”
On the day before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NASCAR event at RIR had a pronounced air of military participation in prerace activities:
- Air Force Lt. Gen. Wendy M. Masiello delivered the oath of enlistment to about 24 delayed enlistment program members.
- The United States Marine Corps Band, “The President’s Own,” performed the National Anthem, while more than 50 soldiers from the Fort Eustis, Virginia, NCO Academy unfurled a gigantic U.S. flag, and an honor guard from Fort Lee, Virginia, posted the colors.
- T-38 planes from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, performed a flyover.
- Army parachutists landed on the infield carrying massive U.S. flags.
As the fans filled the stands, and pit crews rolled out race cars bearing colorful sponsors, the look of excitement on Jodi Boulier’s face was as bright as the flames shooting from the stage with the introduction of each driver. She had been waiting for this moment all day.
“I’m looking forward to the race; I’ve never been to one,” she said hours before the race during the military appreciation event. I’ve only seen [NASCAR] on TV, and I want to see how fast they go around.”
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773