The new Sam’s Club in Raymore began its residence in north Cass County by giving back Monday night. The Club donated $23,500 to local charities.
“Sam’s is really big about going back and supporting the community they do business in,” said store manager Desirée Rutledge.
Sam’s Club #8423 gave $5,000 each to Raymore-Peculiar’s Caring About Nutrition (C.A.N.) program, the Grandview Education Foundation, and the Grandview Assistance Program. They gave $3,000 each to Heart-n-Hand Ministries in Belton and Cass County’s Hope Haven. Finally, the Club also donated $2,500 to Harrisonville’s Bright Futures.
The store opened up to the public on Wednesday at 8:30, providing new customers with various memberships and all visitors entertainment to accompany their shopping experience.
In addition to being 30,000 square feet larger than the Club’s old building in Grandview, the Raymore store also gained a pharmacy, hearing center, a home meal solutions center, and a higher quantity of items due to the area gained.
Some customers might be surpised to find familiar clothing brands at Sam’s such as Under Armour, North Face, Ugg boots, and Miss Me jeans. The store is also selling barrels of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, an 80” Vizio television, and diamond rings upwards of $17,000.
The Club also features what everyone expects — large quantities of groceries at low prices.
Four 30-year employees of the former Grandview store were honored at the event on Monday night. The associates all received recognition on stage in front of their co-workers along with gifts and plaques to mark the significance of the achievement.
One of those tenured employees is Vanessa Vanreed, who has not only been a consistent worker for three decades, but she is also one of the few associates who met Sam Walton.
“He based this company on everybody being a family. That’s what it was all about,” said Vanreed.
“And as that grew, look how many families we have now all over the country. It’s a wonderful thing,” she continued.
Sam’s Club upper management was also in attendance and took the stage to address the Raymore store’s near-200 employees. The word “appreciation” was emphasized to express the importance of Sam’s Club members and associates.
“The thing that’s the most valuable to us is the associates coming into this building,” said Regional Manager Shane Dickerson.
“Our associates are what make our company — period. It’s not about the products, it’s not about the pictures, it’s not about all these things that are brand new. The associates make this company.”
For Club employees like Vanreed, the management’s appreciation for the associates is felt with gratitude.
“There’s no limit to what you can become [at Sam’s],” she said.
“I have grown with the company…this is what Sam’s is all about.”
The 140,000-square foot Sam’s Club is the newest business to open in Raymore and by far the most exciting addition of the year as far as economic development is concerned. It is certain that the dollars generated by the store will pay off exponentially down the road for the city.
The residents in and around Raymore seem ready for the new Sam’s and so do its associates. According to Rutledge, about thirty new employees were hired in addition to the store’s 165-employee roster.
At the event Monday night, the store’s workers joined together in the Sam’s Club cheer to get themselves ready for what will be a landmark moment in the second-oldest Sam’s Club’s history and in the city of Raymore.
“You guys can do it,” Dickerson said to the associates.
“We’re finally here, but this is just the starting line.”