Two Men and a Truck

The Davenport franchise of Two Men and a Truck hosted the annual Movers for Moms program, gathering donations for Winnie's Place shelter.

On this Mother's Day, a Quad-City women's emergency shelter is swimming in new donations, thanks to the efforts of Two Men and a Truck and the generosity of Quad-Citians. 

For the second year, the Davenport moving company joined the national company's Movers with Moms campaign to collect household and personal items for area moms. The local donations benefit Winnie's Place.

Elisabet Acosta, the local Two Men marketing coordinator, said the company worked with several area businesses that who since March have had donation boxes out for the public to contribute personal and household items. They include Lagomarcino's, Quad-City Food Hub and Perl Mortgage, all in Davenport; K&K Hardware, Bettendorf; and The Weir Building in Moline. In addition, Moline television station WQAD held a daylong, drive-thru collection last week.

Kit Miller, manager of Winnie's Place — a ministry of Churches United — said the shelter serves more than 200 women and children each year including women who are homeless or victims of domestic violence.

The items donated not only will assist the shelter's daily needs in serving the women and families, but will help it to help their clients as they transition out of the shelter. "We try to set them up with some of the things they will need,'' she said, adding "Setting up a household is very expensive."

Acosta, who was busy picking up donations last week, far surpassed her goal of 1,000 items donated. All told, she collected 4,314 donated items as well as furniture donations to take to Winnie's Place in time for Mother's Day.

The Two Men franchise, located at 5000 Tremont Ave., is owned by Bob Christensen, who also owns the Peoria and Rockford, Illinois, franchises. It is part of a network of 352 locations nationwide. Since 2007 when Movers for Moms began, it has collected 800,000 items across 39 states including 285,000 items last year alone.

For more information on Winnie's Place, visit Churches United website at cuqca.org.

State Street welcomes new gas station

Quad-City entrepreneur Dev Bastola has returned another gas station to downtown Bettendorf.

His new Shell station and Sara-Mini Mart finally opened its doors about two weeks ago at 931 State St. — right smack dab in the middle of one of the construction zones. 

"It's going to be the last gas station before they (State Street drivers) hit I-74," said Bastola, who previously built and now leases out the Shell station and Sara-Mini Mart in west Davenport across from the skatepark. He also developed the nearby Riverview Plaza strip mall.

Visitors to the new Bettendorf store can fill their tanks and their stomachs with grab-and-go treats from the convenience store, including Chester's Fried Chicken. The $1 million-plus development also has other retail space available. 

Tourism 'not for the faint of heart'

Right in the middle of Tourism Week, Quad-City tourism guru Joe Taylor was returning home from the International Trails Symposium in Dayton, Ohio, when his flight reached the Q-C in that downpour Wednesday.

Sitting on the tarmac at the Quad-City International Airport, the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau chief watched as airport ground crews still had a job to do, unloading and servicing the planes in the driving rain. And in Joe's typical fashion, he considered their role in the tourism industry.

"Tourism is not an easy job," he said later. "It happens 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tourism is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work. You are always serving the public in all kinds of extremes."

That's why, he said National Tourism Week is important. "It calls attention to all those hard-working front line employees in tourism."

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com

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