Friday, June 3, 2011

My Special Appearance at
the Walmart Shareholders Meeting

I am very thankful for the opportunity to bring awareness to The NASCAR Foundation at the 2011 Walmart Shareholders Meeting this past week on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR.  More than 4,000 Walmart Shareholders and Associates from around the globe descended upon little Fayetteville for a week filled with celebrities like Will Smith, Justin Beiber, Brad Keslowski and me, Mrs. North Carolina International 2011. I know I am not as popular as Will Smith and I don’t have great hair like Justin Beiber, but it was an exhilarating appearance which included quite a few ‘firsts’ for me as Mrs. North Carolina International.

Let me set the stage a little more for you. Envision hundreds of white tents, each tent housing a key supplier to Walmart stores, nationwide, and all 4,000 attendees visiting all of them in 4 hours. Yes, by the time they reached the “Automotive” section of this massive tent village, they were a little giddy, but so thrilled to meet me and Brad Keslowski, test their skills changing tires at the Mechanix Wear pit stop, get their picture taken with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy, show car, play racing games and more.  Most of them had never heard of The NASCAR Foundation or our NASCAR Unites arm bands, so I fully embraced the opportunity to talk with everyone.

Ok, back to my ‘firsts’…I met Beth from the Walmart Store #3729 in Sparks, Nevada who asked to trade pins with her, so I gladly traded my 2011 NASCAR Day pin for a really cool pin (shown here) which represents her store. No one had yet to ever ask me to trade pins with them, so I was thrilled and told her I'll have to come visit her store. Then, I met Ginny who was collecting autographs on her neon green t-shirt and wanted mine on it as well. This was a first. Most people are really excited about having me autograph a hero card for them or getting their picture taken with me, so autographing a t-shirt was a first!  I was also able to meet new friends from the International Walmart stores from Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Japan who all asked me to sign my hero cards to their store associates as they were going to proudly display my hero card in their stores!  (More exposure for The NASCAR Foundation!)

While it was 90+ degrees, hot and humid, it was all worth it. Thank you to Dawn Mackey for coordinating my appearance and to all my new friends.

To view all my great pictures, please click here.

Janet Bolin
Mrs. North Carolina International 2011