News Release
 March 15, 2018
CONTACT: Kathy Romanowski

Williamsville, N.Y. – Throughout the course of their day, TOPS associates juggle multiple projects and wear many hats, but the one hat that they seem to love wearing the most is that of a Junior Achievement of Western New York (JA) advocate and classroom volunteer. Since 2005 the associates of Tops Friendly Markets have raised over $193,500 for JA’s financial literacy programs here in Western New York by lacing up their bowling shoes on the second Saturday of March and raising funds by participating in the Junior Achievement Bowl-a-Thon. While this year’s totals are still being tabulated, TOPS Bowl-a-Thon team coordinators, Joanne Probst, executive assistant, and Lauren Smith, corporate receptionist and internal communications coordinator, are confident they will exceed last year’s fundraising efforts. “This annual fundraiser is a great way for our TOPS associates to team build and have fun, all while raising much needed funds for this valuable community school program” said Lauren Smith. “Each year you will find the lanes filled to the brim with TOPS team members eager to bowl for this worthy cause. On average, TOPS has had 210 bowlers and 41 teams and this year was no different. Forty-six teams made up of 226 TOPS associates brought their A-Game to three locations on March 10th and I couldn’t have been more proud to see their team spirit.”

TOPS associates also bring that same level of enthusiasm to the classroom when they teach JA programs in local schools, giving back their time and talent while bringing their real world experiences to life for area youth.

“In the past four years alone TOPS associates have reached close to 800 students by teaching JA programs in over 40 classrooms across WNY,” said Junior Achievement senior education manager, Alycia Ivancie. “We are grateful to the over 50 TOPS associates who have taken time out of their busy work days to make a meaningful impact in the lives of today’s youth.” -more- While some TOPS associates will visit their alma mater or a school close to the store they work at throughout the course of the year, the company also stands behind a program called JA in a Day. JA in a Day is a unique opportunity whereby TOPS associates come together as a team and teach an entire grade level of Junior Achievement programs in a single day for a designated school. This program has been a staple team building program for TOPS associates for over 11 years.

“Volunteering for JA in a Day in addition to the regular JA program is a great way to give back to the communities that we live and work in,” said Denise Terrell, human resources coordinator for Tops Friendly Markets. “Children truly are our future and we need to give them all of the tools to be successful. Seeing Store Managers, Accountants, and Human Resource Coordinators come from their offices into the student’s classrooms is a thrill for the students and a joy for the volunteers.”

Eighteen TOPS team members are set to visit Martin Road Elementary School (135 Martin Rd., Lackawanna, NY) on Thursday, March 22, 2018 beginning at 9:00 am for this year’s JA in a Day program where TOPS associates will present the JA Our Community program to 157 second graders.

# # #

About Tops Friendly Markets

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 169 full-service supermarkets with five additional by franchisees under the Tops banner. Tops employs more than 14,000 associates and is a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at

About Junior Achievement of Western New York

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in kindergarten through 12th grade about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career & work readiness through experiential, hands-on programs. In the 2016-2017 school year, Junior Achievement of WNY enriched the lives of 13,928 students in 148 schools and community organizations throughout the eight counties of Western New York. JA’s success is due to its many generous supporters and more than 621 classroom volunteers. For more information about Junior Achievement and how you can make a difference in a child’s life, visit our Web site at, follow us on Twitter at @JAofWNY, or like us on Facebook at


Press Room Archive