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NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charity donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News will highlight these philanthropic efforts in this special section. Here are the latest company spotlights:
Thanks to its "Fill Up to Fight Hunger" fuel campaign, Valero raised $20,000 for FOOD Share of Ventura County, Calif., a Feeding America Food Bank.
Valero launched the campaign on April 4, giving motorists a chance to fight hunger in their communities when they filled up with Valero fuel. For each 8-gallon fuel purchase made at a local participating Valero outlet, Valero donated $1 to FOOD Share.
In all, the campaign raised $2.9 million for more than 125 food banks across the country.
Both company-owned Valero Corner Stores and independently operated Valero-branded locations participated in "Fill Up to Fight Hunger."
Hess Corp. is donating $25 million to "Succeed 2020," a project aimed at helping North Dakota students prepare for college and careers. It is for middle school and high school students, beginning with next year's fifth-graders, who will graduate in 2020.
"This investment in building North Dakota's workforce of the future is part of our commitment to make a positive impact on the communities where we do business," said John Hess, chairman and CEO of Hess Corp., one of the oldest and biggest operators in western North Dakota's booming oil patch. "We hope this program will ensure that each student in North Dakota has the opportunity to build a rewarding career, which will help further strengthen the state economy for many years to come."
During this school year, planning grants will be distributed to bring together education, business and community leaders and parents. Regional education associations will take the lead in designing and implementing programs, according to North Dakota's governor, Jack Dalrymple.
Celebrating the opening of its Worcester, Mass., store last week, Cumberland Farms hosted a grand-opening party where it distributed free Chill Zones, snacks and samples, and kicked off a community fundraiser to support the Worcester Youth Center. For one month, 20 cents from every coffee, tea, or Chill Zone purchase will be donated to support the center.
Cumberland Farms promoted the event on Facebook.
Popp's Riverwalk CITGO in Manitowoc, Wis., with support from CITGO Petroleum Corp., kicked off its first annual "Popp's for Paws" fundraiser and pet food drive to support the Lakeshore Humane Society (LHS). Now through Nov. 20, customers are invited to drop off canned pet food and purchase "Popp's Paws" for $1 and $5 at Popp's Riverwalk CITGO. All of the proceeds will go to the LHS to provide funds for spaying and neutering, medical care, food and shelter for hundreds of homeless animals each year.
"We are proud to support Lakeshore Humane Society and the hundreds of homeless animals it cares for in our community," said Randy Popp, president and operator of Popp's Riverwalk CITGO. "It will undoubtedly warm the heart to know a mere $1 or $5 donation, or a purchase of a small can of pet food, can save a homeless pet."
As part of the "Popp's for Paws" campaign, Popp's Riverwalk CITGO and LHS also held a pet adoption event last weekend.