State of Oklahoma Honors Wal-Mart Founder Samuel Moore Walton

OKLAHOMA CITY, March 29, 2005 – Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., was honored today by his home state with the unveiling of his portrait in the Oklahoma State Senate Chamber in the Capitol.  The honor comes upon what would have been Walton’s 87th birthday.  Walton was born outside Oklahoma City in Kingfisher, Okla.  

A ceremony at the State Capitol today honoring Walton for his lifetime achievement and contributions to the state of Oklahoma included a proclamation from the Office of the Governor declaring March 29, 2005, as “Sam Walton Day.”  Walton’s portrait, created by artist Mike Wimmer, of Norman, Okla., was presented by The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. It was unveiled as a part of the Oklahoma Historical Paintings for the Oklahoma State Capitol project.  It will hang outside the capitol rotunda among other important dignitary portraits, including Alice Robertson, Jim Thorpe and Will Rogers.

Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in 1962 at the age of 44, turning his old-fashioned business principles of honesty and hard work into one of the greatest triumphs in American entrepreneurial history, positively impacting the lives of millions.  Walton’s philosophy of bringing good quality merchandise at the lowest possible price, with guaranteed satisfaction and friendly, knowledgeable service continues to be the cornerstone of Wal-Mart’s corporate philosophy today.  

Walton also believed it was essential for his stores to give back within the communities they served. Today, Wal-Mart is the largest cash contributor to charitable organizations among U.S. businesses.  Last year alone, more than $5 million in charitable contributions to organizations just in the state of Oklahoma.   As a part of its “Good Works” community involvement program, every Wal-Mart store donates thousands of dollars to charitable organizations annually to help improve the quality of life in its community. 

Wal-Mart currently operates 96 Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood markets in Oklahoma along with 8 SAM’S CLUBs and one distribution center. The company today employs over 29,000 associates in the state. 

In addition to the ceremonies at the capitol, the Kingfisher Wal-Mart store will host a public celebration later today to announce a $ 2 million pledge by Central and Western Oklahoma Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB stores over the next five years to establish the new Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Research Lab.  The hospital is a part of Children’s Miracle Network, to which Wal-Mart is the largest contributor, supporting more than 170 children’s hospitals and services in the U.S. and Canada.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.   Information about the various Good Works programs and Wal-Mart charitable giving can be found at www.walmartfoundation.org.
 

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