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Belk anniversary features gift card giveaway

Belk in the Blue Ridge Mall kicks off a 125th anniversary celebration Wednesday morning with a birthday cake, awards to longtime employees, a three-piece country band and gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $1,000 for the first 100 customers.

"All 309 Belk stores are celebrating 125 years and this is actually the date when the first store opened 125 years ago," said Hugh Halpert, the Hendersonville store manager.
That store, opened by William Henry Belk, was in Monroe, east of Charlotte. Since then, Belk has grown into the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with stores in 16 states in the South.
The anniversary celebration and open house at 8:30 a.m. will include Bruce Drysdale Elementary School principal Christine Smith. During a volunteer workday at the school, Belk employees built a picnic table and book shelves and donated mats for students to sit on while reading. The store also conducted a book drive for the school.
"We've got 250 to 500 books for the students," Halpert said. "They're in excellent condition. The kids are going to be excited when they see them."
The first 100 customers will receive gift cards when doors open at 9:30 a.m. The 125-day celebration also includes specials on fragrances, sales and giveaways.
Halpert, who had been assistant manager and human resources director of the Asheville Mall Belk store for six years, assumed the top job at the Blue Ridge Mall store three months ago.