Local convenience store efforts will benefit Manatee County schools.
Nick Salen, one of the owners of Nick & Moe’s, was quick to correct his business partner, Jose Rodriguez, when he said that Gilbert W. McNeal was the winner of the friendly competition to raise the most money for the school at his pumps.
"Nolan is a winner, too,” Salen said. “They both did very well.”
Gilbert W. McNeal Elementary and R. Dan Nolan Middle School, received their checks from Nick Salen on Feb. 20. McNeal earned $3,000 and Nolan won $2,800 for having the most people pump gas from their allotted pumps. While McNeal technically won the competition, Salen was sure to make sure that both schools felt like they won.
Lori Jones, the assistant principal of Nolan Middle School, and Carol Ricks, the assistant principal of McNeal, expressed gratitude to Nick & Moe’s for the checks.
Salen's enthusiasm about the presentation ceremony quickly swept through the entire store as he called all of the employees over to take pictures with the oversized checks. As employees abandoned their posts to pose for a picture, he shouted out to the customers: "It's serve yourself, everyone!"
County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh was there to help present the checks, and she offered words of support to the Ricks and Jones.
“I am partial to these two schools,” she said. “And I’m always happy to help out Nick.”
What is McNeal going to do with $3,000?
They’re not quite sure yet.
“We don’t know exactly. It’s a lot of money. We’re very excited,” said Cheryl McGrew, the McNeal principal. “We’re thinking about extra instructional materials like books and things like that. We haven’t decided what grades it will go to yet.”