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    C-stores Raise Millions for Local Causes

    Rutter's donated more than $1.4 million to its communities over the past five years, while Huck's Convenience Stores raised $75,000 in 2007 and Howdy's Food Marts partnered with the USO for a fundraiser.

    YORK, Pa. -- The Rutter's chain of convenience stores saw charitable contributions top $1.4 million over the past five years, helped by a record-setting 2007, with more than $600,000, the company stated.

    "We're incredibly blessed to have the long-standing trust and support of customers throughout central Pennsylvania," Scott Hartman, president of Rutter's Farm Stores, said in a statement. "It's because of them that Rutter's has enjoyed the success that makes it possible for us to support these worthy causes and organizations that do so much good in our communities. We're very fortunate to have the ability to help their financial needs."

    Nearly all of the contributions go to children's programs in the communities where the Rutter's companies operate, according to the company.

    Donations this year include $170,000 to Crispus Attucks Association in York, Pa., to support its capital campaign to build a day care and educational center; $100,000 to Junior Achievement of South Central Pa. for its BizTown program in York, Pa.; $100,000 for a new YMCA aquatic center in York, Pa., which will open in 2008 with indoor and outdoor pools; $120,000 to the YMCA of York, Pa., and York County for scholarships for pre-school children who have disabilities or are from lower-income families; $150,000 to the YWCA of Hanover, Pa., to renovate the building that houses its Junior Quantum Opportunities extended-learning program; and $50,000 to the YWCA of York, Pa., to help at-risk students through its Quantum Opportunities program.

    The 2007 contributions also include approximately 200 smaller awards including $2,000 to support a community park in Red Lion in southern York County; $2,000 to fund a child cancer survivor's day at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; $17,000 for York's Newspapers in Education program; and $2,000 to buy Christmas presents for needy children.

    In other charitable news, all Huck's Convenience Stores, a 150-unit convenience chain operated by Carmi, Ill.-based Martin & Bayley, are taking part in its annual Karing for Kids program, which raises money for local disadvantaged children to celebrate the holiday season, the Southeast Missourian reported.

    In 2007, Huck's associates have raised more than $75,000 through $1 donations from customers, bake sales, corporate sponsorships and other projects, the report stated.

    Huck's associates will sponsor as many children as possible with a $150 shopping trip per child, according to the report.

    Meanwhile, Howdy's Food Marts, a more than dozen-location convenience store chain operated by Transmountain Oil Co. L.C. based in El Paso, Texas, partnered with the USO for a fundraising campaign, the USO reported.

    Beginning now through Jan. 6, 2008, participating Howdy's Food Marts in El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, N.M., and Deming, N.M., will offer customers a chance to donate by purchasing a $1 specially designed American flag, to be hung in stores.

    All proceeds will support the El Paso, Texas USO center, the organization stated. The center, located on Fort Bliss Army Post, serves the installation's military population of more than 53,000. The USO El Paso provides free Internet and email access, lounge areas, entertainment and recreational events, according to the USO.

    The USO currently operates more than 130 centers worldwide, eight of which are located in Texas, the organization stated. Centers provide morale-boosting programs and services to troops and their families.

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