A local Fry’s Food Store manager is a million dollars richer after winning a company-wide raffle to get a COVID-19 shot.
“I guess I feel blessed,” said Reyes “Rey” Rocha, the manager of Fry’s on the northwest corner of East Grant Road and North First Avenue. “You know, I got the hang of it, I did something simple, and I got rewarded. I mean, how much more blessed can I be than that? You know?”
Rocha was surprised to receive a check from Fry President Monica Garnes on Monday morning as part of the Kroger Community Immunity Giveaway, a company-wide initiative to encourage employees and their families to get vaccinate.
Rocha, a 38-year veteran of Tucson-area Fry stores, said he’s been running the store at 555 E. Grant Road for six months. He said he got vaccinated, with the Pfizer vaccine, not for a potential reward, but to help protect his store’s employees and customers.
People also read…
“It started with getting me vaccinated and just following up and making sure I was working in a safe environment and making sure my customers would be safe when they shopped.”
Although he acknowledged the amount of money he had earned, Rocha maintained that he would continue to work at Fry’s.
“I’m 60 and hopefully have a few more years left in me. I want to keep working and staying productive,” he said.
Christina Rocha, Reyes’ wife, was there by his side when the news broke. However, thanks to careful planning by Kroger Co.’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Pam Giannonatti, she too was stunned by the news.
“Pam from the company called me and said, since Rey does a lot with the community, especially with the rodeo committee, we want to surprise him with the committee award, and we want to keep this a secret, but we want you there,” Christina Rocha said, sporting a pair of cowgirl boots.
When the announcement actually happened, in the produce section of the store, Rey was shaking, according to Christina.
“I’m like, ‘Listen and see what happens,'” she said. “Because I was always like, ‘What’s going on?’ And that’s when Monica announced it, and he just fell over, and I’m rubbing his back and crying.
Edward Celaya is a news and marijuana reporter. He has been on both beats since May 2021.