EAGLE RIVER - In thinking about which color goes best with their red superhero shirts Monday, Eagle River Walgreens employees decided white fit rather nicely. But getting chosen to fling pies filled with white whipped cream didn't exactly leave Bri Sandrone green with envy.
Story By Lane Kimble
"I actually didn't want to, I wanted to have somebody else do it," Sandrone explained, with a laugh.
Wearing her "everyday superhero" cape and shirt, Sandrone found the courage to toss the pies in her bosses' faces.
"It's a lot fun, it's a lot more interaction with people this year," Sandrone said.
The messy ceremony helped Walgreens kick off its fifth annual Red Nose Day celebrations. Workers like pharmacy manager Allison Sielicki looked forward to it, despite the pies.
"It is, it's a great day!" Sielicki said.
Starting Monday, the Eagle River store offered five different red "noses" for customers to buy. Each one costs $2 with about $1.30 from each going to the Red Nose Day fund.
"It's not just asking for a donation, it's fun, you get a nose, people love buying it for their grandchildren and their small children," Sielicki said.
Customers are encouraged to collect all five noses, with names like Red, Rojo, Rusty, Ruby, and Scarlet. Sales run through June 1.
The proceeds help groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Children's Health Fund, and Feeding America.
"It is a great charity to help out and it really helps get the store come together," Sielicki said.
One of the new features of this year's program is the Red Nose recycling stations. Once customers buy their red nose, they can bring it back to Walgreens, throw it in a red recycling box up front, and Walgreens will help recycle it to turn into a "buddy bench" to help other children.
"On those benches, a child will sit to let those friends know that they are in need of someone, a friend, companion to be with them at that time," Sandrone said.
Red Nose Day raised nearly $150 million in its first four years, but mixing in a "high five" social media challenge with the different noses this year could boost that number much higher.
Customers are encouraged to take pictures of them high-fiving others with all five noses on their fingertips, then sharing with the hashtag #HeroHighFive. Those pictures could be included on NBC's Red Nose Day event set for broadcast on May 23.
The program has reached more than 960,000 children with educational services, more than 13 million get essential medical help, and provided 36 million meals to hungry kids.
The Northwoods workers carry similar, albeit smaller goals, too, knowing helping children who need it the most doesn't need to be "pie in the sky."
"I am absolutely OK with that," Sielicki said of getting pies in the face.
If the Eagle River Walgreens surpasses its total last year by at least 30 percent, the store manager and pharmacy manager agreed to let employees pie them again.