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October 29, 2004

Because Parker John VanWormer weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces when he was born Oct. 4, his mother, Erin Kappen, received a check for $711 from Garb-Ko Inc., which operates the Essexville, Michigan, 7-Eleven convenience store where she has worked part-time for 18 months.

In fact, Saginaw-based Garb-KO pays the $711 bonus to any employee giving birth to a 7-pound, 11-ounce baby. It operates 90 stores in Michigan, nine in Indiana, and eight in Ohio.

"It's not something that happens every day, but through the 26 years that I have been with this company, it has happened several times," Larry Hauck, the company's marketing director, told a local newspaper, The Bay City Times.

The check came as a surprise to Kappen, 22. "I had no idea they were going to give me a check," she said. "I never knew that they had a program like that." She spoke of using some of the gift money to open a bank account for Parker and paying some bills with the rest.

Source: The Associated Press, via USA Today

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