Elam’s Hallmark stores raise $8,000 for cystic fibrosis

By Karen Brainard

The Elam family, owners of Elam’s Hallmark store in Ramona and nine other stores, presented the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation a check for $8,000, due in part to donations from many Ramonans.

The Ramona Hallmark store tied for first place with the Elam’s stores in Poway and Rancho San Diego, with each store raising $1,750 during February for the cystic fibrosis fundraiser.

The Elam family, from left, Guy, Mary, their son Scott, and daughter Christie Elam Manry, right, present a check for $8,000 to Maria Olson, executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, at Elam’s Hallmark store in Ramona. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Elam family members said they were amazed at the total raised by their 10 stores.

“We were expecting maybe $2,000, so it really exceeded our expectations,” said Scott Elam.

The family — Guy and Mary Elam, their son Scott, and daughter Christie Elam Manry — chose the Ramona store to present the check to Maria Olson, executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“It makes a difference,” Olson said as she accepted the check. “Eight thousand dollars buys a lot of medicine.”

Olson said the Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 31 had approved a new drug that will give a better quality of life for some with cystic fibrosis. The drug is considered a major advancement in the search of a cure for cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease that causes serious lung infections and premature death, according to the foundation’s website.

The disease affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 people worldwide.

“It’s an orphan disease,” Olson said, explaining that it receives no government funding. “We rely 100 percent on the community.”

The Elam family, which is involved in many charity drives, chose cystic fibrosis because Scott’s best friend has a 13-year-old son with the disease.

The Ramona employees and the Elams said they were surprised at the number of customers who said they knew someone with cystic fibrosis.

“There were a lot of personal stories that came out and spread around the staff,” said Scott.

“We had some incredible moving moments,” said employee Diane Osterlund.

The Elams credited their Ramona store employees for the amount of donations, calling them the “Dream Team.”

“The people in this store do a fabulous job,” commented Guy Elam.

“It gave them the sense they were making a difference,” Scott said.

He provided a weekly tally of donations and the staff put hearts with contributors’ names on a store wall.

A contest was held for the store who could raise the most money with the prize being a staff pizza party. The Ramona staff turned around and donated their party funds to cystic fibrosis, said Scott.

Employees at Elam’s Hallmark in Ramona hold hearts that displayed contributors’ names for the store’s cystic fibrosis fundraiser. The store raised $1,750. From left are: Willa Borchers, Laurie McCormick, Irene Burke-Nobles, Diane Osterlund, Store Supervisor Esther Gray, Store Manager Sandra Kelley, Sue Manning, Sheila Gery, store family owner Christie Elam Manry, and Beth Sullivan. Not pictured is employee Julie Nunnally. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Apr 11 2012. Filed under Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Elam’s Hallmark stores raise $8,000 for cystic fibrosis”

  1. Great job by a Great crew! Thank you to the employees of Elam's Hallmark – Ramona!

    • Candi

      Didn’t know how else to get ahold of anyone from the “Elam” family. I googled your name to find this post from 2 years ago. Esther works with the Hallmark in Ramona. susan is the store manager. I am the daughter of one of your employees who has been with you for almost 12 years. She is a very dedicated and hard worker, and is there every shift on time and works her butt off! still making minimum wage by the way! shocking these days! Her manager is a monster. I’ve never heard my mother complain so much about a person. My mother is a kind and loving person, and everyone gets along with her. It pains me to hear her complain about how work isn’t the same, it isn’t fun anymore. She doesn’t look forward to going to work anymore. Sales are down. Morale is down. Nobody’s happy anymore. THe customers notice it, too! This years ornament presentation sales were way down. All because of your manager Susan! Nobody can stand her! And nobody seems to really care. I guess as long as you have a manager you dont really care about the rest of your staff. Suprising! I guess she really is a “peone” as she calls herself. My heart is broken for my mother, who has been a devoted and hard working employee of the Elams for over 11 years. Does that not count for anything. Im so disappointed in your company at your choice of managers. She’s a poor choice, everyone’s miserable, and she’s slowly getting all your good employees to quit, because they cant work with her. Does anyone care in your company?!!! I’ve been in Ramona for over 30 years and manage a successful office in town and am appalled at how this business is ran. I’m suprised you have any employees at all, letting this woman run your store the way she does! Your slowly loosing customers by the dozens, And it’s only going to get worse. So not only do your employees not like her, but your customers dont either.

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