By Lindsay Dickson
The overcast skies and drizzling rain were not enough to keep more than 600 people from lining up for free Jamba Juice smoothies Wed., April 17.
The free smoothies were given out from 8 to 10 a.m. to thank customers and raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
Mayor Lewis Billings was present for the celebration and weaved through the crowd collecting donations for the American Cancer Society.
“It”s a great business in our city and it”s wonderful that they are basically opening their doors to support a great cause,” Billings said.
BYU football coach, Gary Crowton, donned a Jamba Juice apron and worked beside other employees.
“They just threw me out there. There were so many people I had no choice but to get right into it,” he said.
Stephen Bracken, Jamba Juice storeowner, said he was thrilled with the turnout and support for the society.
“I was really impressed with how generous people were when the mayor went through the line collecting donations,” he said.
Bracken said in the past, donations collected at the annual Jamba Juice celebrations were given to a variety of organizations.
Jamba Juice”s Web site lists 246 stores participating in the celebration.
“Out of the 56 people at our national office, over half had been touched by family members who died from cancer. It can be a very personal thing,” Bracken said.
Joy Bracken, Stephen”s wife, said working with the American Cancer Society is a natural fit. “They encourage healthy eating to prevent cancer and so do we,” she said.
According to the American Cancer Society, one-third of all cancers could be prevented by a change in people”s diets.
Bonnie Elhala, director of operations for the Jamba Juice Corporation, said a lot of people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.
“Jamba Juice is an easy solution. Some of the power size juices can fill the five-a-day recommendation,” Elhala said.
Kathy Petru, a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, knows first hand the help the society can offer. In 1999 her five-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Today he is a cancer survivor.
“They offer support in any way they can at a time when you need it most,” Petru said.
Elhala said all of the money raised would go directly into the local chapters of the American Cancer Society to help individual communities.