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    Alon USA Pledges $1 Million to Dallas Education

    Endowment will fund Communities in Schools program.

    DALLAS -- Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, announced the company will pledge $1 million to establish a permanent endowment for the enduring benefit of Communities in Schools (CIS) Dallas. The announcement was made this week at the State of the District luncheon hosted by the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

    The CIS Dallas Endowment, founded by Alon USA, will operate as a nonprofit organization to secure and manage the principal and allocate investment income to CIS Dallas. Specifically, the new endowment will provide financial support and long-term stability to help expand CIS Dallas services and fund initiatives designed to serve the needs of students at risk in the Dallas-area community.

    "Alon USA and FINA have been long-time supporters of CIS," said Morris. "I've been proud to serve as a board member for over eight years, and many of our employees are active CIS volunteers," Morris said. "We've seen firsthand how CIS can help youngsters overcome obstacles ranging from learning and behavioral problems, to just surviving day-to-day."

    CIS Dallas is a 17-year old nonprofit organization that provides managed services and educational support to at-risk students. The organization has facilities on the campuses of 36 schools in seven school districts throughout Dallas and Collin Counties. Its mission is to help youngsters to stay in school and succeed, by using professional staff and volunteers to counsel, mentor and tutor students daily. As a result during the 2002-2003 school year, more than 6,700 students participated in the program of which 93 percent showed improvement in academics, attendance and behavior. In addition, 97 percent of CIS Dallas students stayed in school and 91 percent students graduated.

    "The business community plays a critical role in shaping the environment for learning," Morris said. "And since we as businesspeople potentially have the most to gain from a skilled labor pool, it seems only fitting that we invest in local educational initiatives. We hope the launch of the CIS Dallas Endowment will motivate volunteers and encourage financial support, because together we can help our schools succeed - one child at a time."

    Alon USA operates approximately 200 7-Eleven convenience stores through its Southwest Convenience Stores Inc. subsidiary.

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