DANVILLE COMMUNITY RALLIES TO RAISE FUNDS FOR COSTCO WORKER
Many Costco shoppers know Arlie Smith by face–a warm-spirited man often found greeting patrons and checking receipts with a smile. Over the last 21 years the Danville Costco employee has become a fixture of the community. Yet, most people didn’t know the 45-year-old San Ramon resident lives with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis, and was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in September.
Costco customer, Bridgette Loughnane, heard about the news after noticing Arlie’s long face one day, while exiting the store.
“He looked at me and asked, ‘Do you believe in God?’ I told him, ‘Of course.’ He asked me to pray for him at 4pm that day,” says Bridgette. “He was going to find out if he had cancer. I immediately knew there was something I needed to do.”
The next morning Bridgette learned Arlie’s cancer was spreading. The doctors have given him approximately two years to live. Since then she launched the ‘Arlie’s Angels’ Facebook page. Within a few months the group raised $2,500 and surprised Arlie and his wife, Shari, with a four- night vacation at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Niguel. Needless to say Arlie was floored with gratitude.
“Everything that’s done for me and the love that’s shown for me, every day, it’s astounding. I mean, people don’t have this great of a life, really,” he told KTVU.
Yet, the group’s efforts are far from over.
“We surprised him with the vacation a few weeks ago. I knew Arlie wasn’t going to love the gift because he wants every dollar to be donated through Costco to Children’s Miracle Network… He has a big heart,” says Bridgette.
As a regular contributor to the annual fundraiser, Arlie aims to raise as much money as possible by May 31st. He’s previously been the 6th highest contributor. This year the community hopes to help him reach the number one spot.
As of April 15th Arlie has gathered $40,000 for the Oakland children’s hospital fundraiser. Inspired by the cause, Costco has agreed to match a portion of each contribution that’s turned in by May 31st.
“The more we can get the word out to support him the better,” says Steve Maurer, fundraiser and Keller Williams Realtor. “We want to see how high we get this inferno going to help him reach his goal.”
Community members have also given Arlie gift cards and cash contributions. However, the philanthropist isn’t seeking personal donations and will be sending all offerings to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Those interested in donating can drop off contributions directly to Costco’s membership desk or any register during the month of May. Danville’s Costco is located at 3150 Fostoria Way. Supporters can also mail checks to:
Bridgette Loughnane/Arlie’s Angels at P.O. Box 1503, Danville, CA 94526.
Checks should be made out to Costco and with the contributor’s membership number in the memo section. Bridgette hand delivers to the checks to Arlie each week. To receive a receipt for tax purposes, include a self- addressed envelope.
“Arlie has the best mindset. He lives everyday to the fullest,” says Bridgette. “His optimism keeps him alive. He tells me all the time working at Costco is one of the best things that’s ever happened to him. He gets to be surrounded by people everyday and he loves it.”
For more information on how to help Arlie’s cause contact Bridgette Loughnane at email@example.com or visit the Arlie’s Angels Facebook page.