A fixture of the Marquette Township business corridor celebrated its twentieth anniversary today by recognizing both its employees and the community.

The township’s Walmart location opened in 1994. Fourteen of its associates have been with the store since day one.

“Kind of exciting to come in, you know, twenty years ago to nothing but the floor and four walls and then see all the expansions and changes throughout the years,” said Personnel Coordinator Kristen Englund.

“(The) store was completely empty when we came in here,” said Cashier Judy Hoffman. “We had to set everything up from merchandise to registers to racks.”

Awards were presented to associates who’ve served the company for twenty years or more. In the two decades since the store first opened its doors, it has had a positive effect on the township and beyond.

“It’s interesting because while the rest of the state’s been in a recession since 2008, we’ve grown 24% over that same time frame, and Walmart’s part of that,” Marquette Township Manager Randy Girard said.

“When we do our forget-me-not sales, that’s our fundraiser for the year. They’ve been really gracious to us and helped us out by letting us out in front of the store to collect money,” added Jim Provost, treasurer of the Marquette County Chapter 22 of Disabled American Veterans. “It’s a good store to have in the community. They’ve done a lot for a lot of people, and we really appreciate that they’re here.”

“I’ve seen what they do for people. I see how they help people, so that’s basically why I like working here,” added cashier Gwen Swan, who has been a Walmart employee for 21 years.

In addition to words from community members about the store’s influence, the Supercenter presented a $1,000 check to the Marquette City Police.