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An act from the Heart

February 10, 2011

VALENTINE'S DAY is a time to honor those you love and hold close to the relationships we value most.

For many, it's a well-looked forward to time of the year.

Local Kroger stores have been stoked and prepared to meet the demand of those smitten and ready to shower the objects of their affection with token gifts of romance and fondness.

Everything from long-stem red roses and floral arrangements to chocolates, stuffed animals and cards teaming with romantic poetry line the shelves.

Safe to say, the demands of the romantically inclined will be met.

But Valentine's Day is not such a joyous occasion for all.

For other, it's not a time to think fondly about what they have but a time of remembering those for whom they have lost. Still others, through no fault of their own, will be spending the season of romance alone or cooped up in a hospital bed, unable to partake in the festivities.

Thanks to Kroger, they too will be though off this upcoming Valentine's Day.

The Kroger Company again is looking to shine some holiday cheer on those for whom the warmth and glow of the Valentine's season fails to fall.

Kroger's annual Heart 2 Heart campaign began Jan. 24 and runs through Thursday.

Customers are encouraged when checking out their purchases to offer up a mere $2.99 extra toward the cost of a paper heart balloon.

But it is not the paper that is sought to warm the hearts of those left wanting on Valentine's Day.

For every paper heart balloon purchased, Kroger will deliver a mylar Valentine's Day balloon to various locations throughout the area. The balloons will be taken to places like hospitals, senior centers and community and nursing homes.

Those deliveries will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11-12.

''Kroger is excited to have the opportunity to spread a little cheer this Valentine's Day to those who might be going through some tough times,'' said Bruce Macaulay, president of Kroger's Columbus Division.

''We would like to thank our customers for making these balloon donations possible.''

In 2010, Kroger delivered nearly 13,000 balloons to area organizations to held spread holiday cheer those in need. Kroger officials hope that in 2011, the fourth year of the campaign, those numbers will be exceeded.

With no shortage of those needed a little pick-me-up, each Kroger store takes to servicing different areas of its respective community.

''We're going to be delivering our balloons to a couple local senior homes,'' said Jim Bartsch, manager of the St. Clairsville Kroger store. ''Every store is going somewhere different.''

Residents of Country Club Retirement Campus in Bellaire and Mark H. Kennedy Park in St. Clairsville were chosen as the recipients of the good will being displayed by the customers of the St. Clairsville Kroger store. Other area stores have similar plans for various organizations and locales.

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