LIMA — On May 4, 1918, JCPenney opened its doors in downtown Lima. One hundred years later, the company celebrated its longevity with sales, giveaways and community engagement.
The national retail store opened in downtown Lima in 1918. In 1966, the store moved to the Lima Mall on Elida Road.
Connie Jones, who at the time of the move was 18 years old, was one of the many associates who were hired then.
“I loved this mall when it first opened,” said Jones. “It was a big deal because we never had anything this trendy.”
Although Jones has left the store five times to seek other employment, she is back.
“I’m always amazed that they take me back,” said Jones. “I love JCPenney because of the coworkers and management. We get along very well considering that there is such a diverse type of personalities and for some reason we blend, and it’s been wonderful.”
On behalf of the JCPenney Foundation, Jared Lehman, the CEO of the Lima Family YMCA, with presented a $1,500 check as a way to help strengthen the community — aligning with the Y’s commitment to helping kids and families reach their full potential.
“We want to congratulate JCPenney on having such a great milestone and just being a great anchor out here in the mall and in Lima,” said Lehman. “We are so excited to receive this on behalf of the Lima Family YMCA.”
Lehman said the YMCA intends to use the funds for scholarships to help those who need financial assistance toward their membership.
“Anyone who comes to the Y, regardless of their ability to pay for membership, we want them to be able to come to our facilities and participate,” said Lehman. “We are humbly blessed and we say thank you for the great work that you do to make this possible for us today.”
During the event, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce President Jed Metzger read a proclamation from Governor John Kasich (OH-R) and expressed his gratitude for the impact the national retailer has had on the community.
“JCPenney has always been close to my heart,” said Metzger. “When I was a kid, my mother would always drive me downtown to the store. I really appreciate all that you have done. It’s an established company that has been here for 100 years. It’s a great asset and we really do appreciate you and wish you another hundred years.”
After the ceremony, the first 100 customers in line received coupons, swag bags and had the opportunity to win a KitchenAid stand mixer.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews