Every time a (cow) bell rang at the Rome Kroger Saturday between the times of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., a cheer went up and it meant Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta had received another donation from a Kroger customer.
At checkout, customers were assisted by either a Miss America titleholder or a volunteer who helped them bag groceries while telling them about why they were there.
According to Andrea Pitts, the executive director of the Miss Rome Scholarship Program, supporting the Children’s Miracle Network (which includes CHOA) is the platform of the current Miss America. This means everyone who is apart of the Miss America Organization, including Miss Rome Cara Clements, supports this platform as well as their own.
Clements, a freshman at Emory, won the title Miss Rome in 2018 and said she had spinal fusion surgery at CHOA when she was younger.
Not including Saturday’s fundraiser, Clements said she has raised around $4,500 for the hospital. Clements has dressed up as Queen Elsa from the movie “Frozen” at the hospital and has also attended a patient prom there as well. Clements says she also does a lot with mental health, which is her platform.
Assisting with the grocery bagging was Miss Rome’s Outstanding Teen Megan Wright, a student at Calhoun High School, and Miss Rome Princess Emma Hann, a student at Pepperell Elementary School. Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen Rory Pan, a Johns Creek resident, offered her assistance as well. County Commissioner Scotty Hancock made an appearance bagging groceries alongside Miss Rome. Pitts said more volunteers would rotate in as the day progressed.
“It’s amazing who shows up when you shoot them an email,” Clements said. “The whole community is really supportive.”
Clements and the other titleholders took photos with kids as they came through the grocery line.
Wright even took off her Miss Rome’s Outstanding Teen crown and let Sophia Poston wear it while her dad checked out.
Pitts said this is the 10th year the Miss Rome Scholarship Program has partnered with the Rome Kroger to load grocery carts and raise money for CHOA. General Manager Steve Vanmeter has been great, she said.