Local surplus pays out

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Two-dollar bills have been popping up all over Atmore the past few weeks thanks to Danny Cottrell’s unusual stimulus bonus given to his employees.
Cottrell’s generosity has been featured on national news programs both for the unusual manner it was given in and for the act itself.
Full-time employees received $700 and part-time received $300 in $2 bills with 15 percent to be given to charities and the rest spent locally.
The money was given out at Cottrell’s two businesses, Greenlawn Home Health Care in Atmore and Medical Center Pharmacy in Brewton. Five employees at Greenlawn Home Health Care and 19 employees at Medical Center Pharmacy received the money.
Teresa Booker works at Greenlawn full-time and said the experience has been a lot of fun.
Booker said she has not spent all of the money yet, but so far has spent it on everyday items, like gas and groceries, with a couple of splurges at Peebles and the salon. Booker said she also paid for her dog’s haircut at the veterinarian with the money, which was met with laughter and uncertainty of the bills legitimacy by the workers.
Booker said she and several of the other female employees had treated themselves to manicures and pedicures.
Becky Brown is also a full-time employee at Greenlawn and said she too has spent it mostly on things she already would have bought, but also has plans to buy something she otherwise might not have.
She said she too has gotten mostly funny reactions.
Employee, Rufus Watson’s big purchase was a pair of new sneakers from Hibbett Sports and the rest of the money he has given to his mother, sister and girlfriend.
The employees said they have also enjoyed giving out the charitable donations.
Watson donated $150 to the Atmore Nursing Center, where it went into the Love Fund, which is money set aside for residents who do not have outside help to buy items like toothbrushes and socks.
Watson said he chose the nursing home because he loves helping elderly people.
Booker, Brown and Shirley Zimmerman, the fifth Atmore employee, all made donations to the Friends of Toby Quimby fund. The fund benefits a local man who is receiving a treatment for Lyme disease that is not covered by insurance.
Booker said she and the other ladies all attend the same church as Quimby and were friends of his. Booker actually split her 15 percent between that fund and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Part-time employee Stacee Earle made her gift especially close to her heart giving it to her mother.
The $2 bills have been seen locally at several restaurants, gas stations and banks. Several of the employees and establishments said people have been buying up the bills for keepsakes.
Sarah Johnson, assistant manager at Peebles, said one man came in and traded $30 for them.
Cottrell said what was important to him about giving the bonus was making people aware of the importance of spending locally.

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