by Letters to the editor on Thursday May 21 2020
Community is everything right now. Reaching out to help others is what living in a small community is about. There are and have been countless wonderful people offering help via Facebook and neighbours just being plain neighbourly. I don’t think there has been anyone more caring, kind and thoughtful than Tony Ponte.
You probably know Tony from our Castlegar Safeway. The crisp white shirt and tie are the armour of a man working incredibly hard to support the wonderful team of grocery folks who haven’t taken a day down in this pandemic. Tony leads by example - let me explain how:
I am disabled and immunosuppressed, so COVID-19 is particularly scary for me. When this all started I called Safeway to ask what their protocol for the immunosuppressed people would be. I got Tony. Tony said, “We have an hour in the morning for seniors and the immunosuppressed, but can I help you, like could I do your shopping for you and you just pick it up?”
If you could have seen my face you would have seen my jaw resting near the floor. Really? Turns out he legitimately meant he would extend that most incredible kindness and truly do it for me.
You couldn’t ask for better leadership from someone willing to take what is already a frontline job and make it compassionate and kind without hesitation. The entire team has been nothing but helpful and so generous of their time and compassion.
I have always had an amazing shopping experience at our Safeway, the staff will do anything to help me out and with a smile. They are all under incredible pressure right now and they just keep giving to our community. I can never repay the kindness. All I can offer is thanks and to remind you that it is our community keeping us fed, healthy and happy. Thank you Castlegar Safeway and of course, thank you, Tony.