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Stop & Shop Hosts 100th Birthday Celebration For Tuskegee Airman

Stop & Shop

Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop held a 100th birthday celebration May 19 for Sgt. Victor W. Butler, who is believed to be the last living Tuskegee Airman in Rhode Island.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of Black military pilots who made history fighting in World War II, leading the way in desegregating the U.S. military. After Butler issued a call to the public for birthday cards, Stop & Shop stepped in to create the celebration.

Over the past week, the grocer received 600 cards, thanks to a partnership with Hallmark Cards Inc., and created card stations at three of its Providence stores for customers to fill out with birthday well wishes. Stop & Shop presented these cards to Butler and surprised him with a veterans parking spot dedicated in his name at his local Stop & Shop at 1128 Mineral Spring Ave. in Providence.

Stop & Shop leadership also surprised Butler with a $1,000 donation to the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation.

“We are incredibly proud of the tremendous efforts our store teams have taken to help us create this birthday celebration for Sgt. Butler. Sgt. Butler is a breaker of barriers and an America hero, who we are honored to celebrate ahead of Memorial Day, a time where we reflect on the sacrifices the many military members have made for our country,” said Jennifer Brogan, director of community relations for Stop & Shop. “We are also so thankful to Hallmark for their generous donation to help make Sgt. Butler’s dream of receiving so many birthday cards possible.”

The birthday celebration continued with cake, refreshments, the singing of the National Anthem and Happy Birthday with Stop & Shop store leadership and Butler’s family and friends. Stop & Shop supports troops, military families and veterans through its non-profit partners, including Semper Fi and The America’s Fund, USO and Home Base.

“It was a privilege to celebrate Sgt. Butler and his milestone birthday with Stop & Shop,” said Steve Cashman, director of grocery at Hallmark Cards Inc. “Helping him feel cared for and connected to others on his birthday is what a Hallmark card is meant to do. We were happy to provide cards for folks to share words of celebration, kindness and gratitude with Sgt. Butler.”

To learn more, visit stopandshop.com.

To view the full photo gallery from the event presented by The Shelby Report, click here.

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