A crowd of over 100 people gathered outside Sams Club in Watertown this morning to see the ribbon cut for a six-month remodel project.
The remodeled club at 1283 Arsenal St. added 32 employees as a result of the expansion. The club now includes a 700 square-foot bakery, remodeled deli offering takeout dinners, photo department, outdoor canopy and new paint job.
The the ceremony, which was attended by local dignitaries, general manager John Unangst presented giant-sized checks with a combined total of more than $20,000 to local nonprofits. Donations went to the Childrens Miracle Network ($7,756), the American Cancer Societys Relay for Life ($6,356), National MS Societys state of New York chapter ($4,182), Special Olympics ($1,000), Shop with a Cop ($1,000), Watertown Urban Mission ($750) and United Service Organization at Fort Drum ($750).
At the forefront of this project is being able to provide the community with better service, Mr. Unangst said. The project has added more than 30 jobs for people who didnt have them and lived on unemployment. These jobs are sustainable and not going away.
Mr. Unangst said community service has always been at the core of the clubs mission, Last year its staff volunteered a total of 674 hours, a value of $40,000 to the community.
Local legislators who spoke at the even included Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, and Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairwoman Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, R-Watertown.