Green grocer helps out kids |

Green grocer helps out kids

Eddie Montanucci has the ability to turn green into gold for St. Patrick’s Day.

The Albertsons checker single-handedly raised more than $4,000 for Jerry’s Kids and the Muscular Dystrophy Association during a fund-raising drive that ends Friday.

Since Feb. 2, Albertsons has sold nearly 7,400, $1 shamrocks beating last year’s total by more than $2,000.

Montanucci is responsible for at least half of the pot, but said that the store’s success has been a team effort between staff and the townspeople.

“That’s what Tahoe is all about,” he said.

Montanucci explains to his customers where their donations will go and what it will go to. “More than 80 percent of your dollar gets donated,” he said. “That is why I drive so hard.”

“The Reno area brings (the muscular dystrophy kids) to the lake in the summer to enjoy the recreation. They get to camp and Jet Ski,” Dennis Schmedes, Albertsons store manager said.

Montanucci attributes his success to having a good rapport with his customers and working at the express checkout, where five times the amount of customers visit compared to other lanes.

“I honestly do respect them,” he said.

Montanucci, who has been working at the store for 28 years, is retiring this year and wanted to give his last fund-raiser his best shot. He wanted to participate in the generosity shown by the community he has been happy to be a part of.

“I want to go out with a good feeling in my heart,” Montanucci said.

Joe Wurzer, the night manager, said that Montanucci is too modest and has really been an inspiration to all Albertsons employees.

“Five years ago we started the fund-raiser and we really didn’t give it much hope,” Wurzer said. He thinks that the store may have sold 30 shamrocks total.

Now the staff works to the standard Montanucci has established. Selling shamrocks breaks the monotony of the day, Wurzer said.

While waiting in line at the check-out stand, customers can hear other checkers saying, “Eddie, Eddie he’s our man. If he can’t do it no one can.”

Someone else will have to carry on Eddie’s legacy because he plans to leave his post and spend time with his family. His second daughter Fallon Taylor was born three months ago. He says he will miss all the people he has worked with and all the customers who came through his line over the years, but that his legs are about to give out on him.

Asked what’s next for the man of good will?

“We’re going to see America,” Montanucci said. He and his family will begin their travels next spring.

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