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Businessman sends grocery store gift cards to his hometown for the holidays

Andrew Cuomo

A successful businessman had a holiday surprise for people in the small Pennsylvania town where he grew up.

Jim Zockoll sent $30 Giant Eagle grocery store gift cards to residents in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, to give back to his hometown this holiday season, according to CNN affiliate WTAE.

Zockoll, the founder and chairman of The Zockoll Group Ltd. in the United Kingdom, was raised in the town outside of Pittsburgh with his brother Fred. He and his brother sent the gift in honor of their mother, according to WTAE.

“Happy Holidays. North Braddock residents, in loving memory of our mother, Margaret (O’Toole) Zockoll who once lived at 810 Spring Street, North Braddock. Jim and Fred Zockoll,” read the card received by the residents.

Many in the community thanked the Zockoll family for their gesture on social media, some calling it a thoughtful deed during a tough year.

“This is really remarkable,” Pauline Koroko, a resident who lives on the same street as Zockoll’s mother once did, told WTAE. “For the whole town, that’s really cool.”

Zockoll was overwhelmed by the appreciation from his hometown, according a post on Twitter from the The Zockoll Group.

“Jim Zockoll would like to let you know that he has been overwhelmed by the appreciation he has received and that it could not have been achieved without the help of Evelyn Ward, her daughter Patty Kemion, Michael Breaston and Giant Eagle,” according to the Twitter post.

Jim Zockoll graduated from the now-demolished North Braddock Scott High School in 1949. He left North Braddock when he joined the Air Force in the 1950s. After his military service, he became a flight engineer for Pan Am Airlines. He moved to London in 1963 and started the business that eventually became the Zockoll Group.

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