(WEAU) - "I just come here to see what kind of good deals I could get and I did find me some deals," said Linda Jarosh who lives in Eau Claire.
What may have looked like Black Friday was actually the grand opening of Goodwill in Lake Hallie.
"We have had an exceptional turnout…the crowd started at 9 o clock and they have been steady all day," said Jean Pederson, Regional Retail Leader.
Some shoppers say the store is more convenient for them than the one in Eau Claire and they found a few items as well.
"Just buying clothes for my son, basically that's pretty much it, everything's been for him," said Yvette Cox who lives in Eau Claire.
"I'm going apartment shopping for decorations and stuff so I hope I find some great deals,” said Tonya Minot who lives in Eau Claire.
Meanwhile Goodwill employees feel excited to finally be up and running.
"We are so excited, we have been waiting for this, and we started to put up the fixtures in April so we've been ready and rearing to go,” said Pederson.
Goodwill says they are still looking to hire a few more workers in Lake Hallie and Eau Claire, but also say they were prepared for the crowds.
"Our 23 stores were able to help us out and they were here for two weeks and this store was completely merchandised and filled in 2 weeks," said Pederson.
"Come on folks, let's try it, get a good deal..anyday of the week it's a good deal," said Jarosh.
(WEAU)-The Lake Hallie Goodwill Retail Store and Training Center will open its doors to shoppers on Thursday, May 17, following a brief ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m.
"We think shoppers will be impressed with our new store," said Wendy Shoemaker, vice president of retail for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW). "They will step into a very contemporary retail setting that features a large selection of quality merchandise, a mix of both new and donated items, at moderate prices."
Goodwill built its 24,000-square-foot store at 2759 South Prairie View Road, which was the former site of North Point RV.
The Lake Hallie Goodwill features an attractive brick exterior, tall twin columns with a canopy at the store's main entrance, and a large canopy over a double-lane drive-thru at the donation door. It was designed with windows in both the store and office areas to bring in natural light.
As one of Goodwill's most energy-efficient buildings, the Lake Hallie Goodwill has high-efficiency furnaces with an energy management system and lots of LED lighting. Induction lighting, a newer technology similar to fluorescent, was installed in the parking lot, and carries a 10-year warranty on the fixture and requires 75 percent less energy to operate.
With the opening of this store, Goodwill created about 50 new jobs, with team members hired for various roles within the store and the donation door area. The retail store and training center is also expected to provide job training programs for about 100 people who are facing barriers to employments, in addition to volunteer opportunities for people looking for ways to give back to their community.
"We are excited to be able to offer more opportunities for employment, training, shopping and donating in the Chippewa Valley region with the addition of our new store," Shoemaker said.
The Lake Hallie store is Goodwill NCW's 24rd store within its 35-county region, and its second store within the Chippewa Valley. Goodwill also operates a store in Eau Claire at 3605 Gateway Drive.
At both store locations, people will find a wide selection of merchandise, including new and donated clothing, housewares, books, décor and seasonal items at everyday bargain prices that will help families stretch their budget dollars.
"We can't wait to open our new Lake Hallie store," Shoemaker said. "Having Goodwill stores in both Lake Hallie and Eau Claire should make shopping and donating even more convenient for area residents."
In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 17, Goodwill has planned several other grand opening events at its Lake Hallie store:
-Sunday, May 20, through Saturday, May 26 - "Green" is the color of the week. Take 50% off any item with a green price tag.
-Tuesday, May 22 - Every Tuesday is Senior $avings Day at Goodwill. People age 60 or better get a 10% discount on their purchases.
-Saturday, May 26 - Free $10 gift certificates will be given to the first 150 customers at the Lake Hallie store, starting at 9 a.m.
-Sunday, May 27, through Saturday, June 2 - "Blue" is the color of the week. Take 50% off any item with a blue price tag.
Store hours for the Lake Hallie and Eau Claire Goodwill stores are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
GOODWILL DONATION DRIVE
(WEAU)-Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW) has scheduled its annual Chippewa Valley donation drive on Friday through Sunday, June 1-3.
This year, people can drop off their donated items at two convenient locations - the Eau Claire Goodwill at 3605 Gateway Drive and the new Lake Hallie Goodwill at 2759 South Prairie View Road.
Goodwill store team leaders Toni Hams-Linduski from Eau Claire and Sandy Ebbinger from Lake Hallie encourage people to donate to the Chippewa Valley drive by dropping off their items at either store location, and to step inside the store and do a little shopping as well.
People can go to the store's drive-thru donation door during regular store hours, which are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Goodwill's donation door attendants will help people unload their donations and provide tax-deductible receipts.
"Our community has been very generous in the past, and we are looking forward to another successful donation drive this year with our two Chippewa Valley stores," said Hams-Linduski and Ebbinger. "We really appreciate everyone's support."
Right now, Goodwill especially needs donations of clothing, shoes and household items. For a complete listing of the items that Goodwill can and cannot accept, visit Goodwill's website.
Doug Schacht, leader of donations for Goodwill NCW, said the organization relies on people's willingness to donate in order to carry out its important work in the community.
"When you donate your goods to us and shop in our stores, we can create programs that help people with disabilities and other barriers, such as poverty, language or lack of education, gain the skills and confidence they need to become more independent and to participate more fully as members of their community," Schacht said. "As you can see, it all begins with a simple act of charity - donating."
WEAU 13 News is a sponsor of the Goodwill Donation Drive.