Bakery Associate Holding Gold Coin

In one way or another, many Americans have been affected by cancer. Publix customer and Vanessa’s best friend, John, recently finished his last chemotherapy treatment, which meant it was time for him to “ring the bell” (many cancer centers across the country encourage people to ring a bell on their last day of chemotherapy treatments to signify the end of their chemo journey).

Bakery associate Courtney Gesing from Store #1175 in Lebanon, Tennessee was working when Vanessa called. “A cake was needed for the celebration and I called Publix in Lebanon at 4:40 p.m. and asked if they could help me last minute,” Vanessa shared with us. Courtney told her that she’d be happy to decorate any cake she chose. Unfortunately, Vanessa was short on time and unable to come in prior to picking up the cake. “I asked if she could pick out a cake for me and told her what I wanted on it. I also explained what the cake was for.” Courtney immediately jumped into action. “Of course, I can do that! I’d be happy to help,” Courtney told Vanessa.

When Vanessa arrived to pick up the cake for her friend’s party, Courtney greeted her with a big smile and told her that she was going to pay for the cake. “Courtney told me that her father had cancer several years ago and knew that it took a village to help her get through it,” Vanessa explained to us. Courtney’s kindness brought tears to her eyes. “The kindness and compassion she showed truly touched my heart. She is amazing and a blessing to Publix and to anybody who has the pleasure of knowing her,” Vanessa exclaimed.

Because of her willingness to go above and beyond for Publix customers, Courtney was presented with the Mr. George Gold Coin Award. If you’re unfamiliar with this program, here’s a bit of history. Our founder, Mr. George, introduced this program in 1955 when he presented associates with a silver 25th anniversary coin. The coin was later switched from silver to gold to emphasize the importance of the program and the honor associates feel when presented with the award. Check out a recap on the history behind our Mr. George Gold Coin Award and take a look at some of the past Gold Coin Award stories. Not only do award recipients receive the Gold Coin, they also get a message from our CEO and a Publix gift card.

When she’s not working, Courtney loves to laugh at “dad jokes,” read, volunteer and spend time with her family. Her favorite activity is taking her dog, Athena, to the dog park.


Have you ever witnessed an associate going above and beyond at your local Publix? Share your story with us on Facebook or Twitter, via our Contact Us page or by phone at (800) 242-1227. To read the stories of other recipients of the Mr. George Gold Coin Award, check them out here.

Matthew L.

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Matthew started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, son and their dog. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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