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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:
EZ Energy USA's Easytrip Stores made a $40,000 donation to the Homeless Children's Education Fund in Pittsburgh, Pa. The donation was raised from Easytrip Stores' sponsorship of Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House.
On hand for the check presentation was Pittsburgh Penguins hockey player Brent Johnson, as well as executives from the Homeless Children's Education Fund and EZ Energy USA.
The Homeless Children's Education Fund is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit serving children and youth experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County, Pa.
Last week, QuikTrip Inc. presented a check for $103,000 to the Folds of Honor Foundation, which helps families of fallen soldiers by providing scholarships and financial support.
QuikTrip donated $1 from every sandwich, wrap or salad sold over Labor Day weekend, the same weekend as the organization's main fundraiser, Patriot Golf Day, where golfers at more than 4,000 courses across the country were asked to donate an extra dollar to the organization.
It was the first year QuikTrip held the fundraiser, but after its success, it will continue, said Chet Cadieux, president and CEO of QuikTrip. "We heard from customers and employees about how good they feel about it," Cadieux said. "It won't fix their family. It won't heal their family. But God knows, it will help."
Cadieux said QuikTrip has long supported military members and families. He said 137 QuikTrip employees are on military leave.
The Food Bank of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek, Mich., is "fueling good" as one of the 12 winners in the CITGO Fueling Good summer program. Recognized by CITGO and marketer Watkins Oil for its ongoing efforts to collect and deliver food to those in need across south central Michigan, the non-profit organization has been awarded $5,000 in CITGO gift cards to help extend its Ripple of Good and the impact of its work.
"The entire Watkins Oil family is pleased to help recognize and reward the Food Bank of South Central Michigan for its ongoing commitment to our community," said Patrick McAvoy, president of Watkins Oil. "Hunger is a widespread problem in Michigan and across the country, so it is wonderful to see such a strong, local organization taking action against the issue in such a positive way."
The Food Bank of South Central Michigan is one of 12 CITGO Summer Fueling Good campaign winners selected from more than 1,100 charities through a nationwide online vote. More than 100,000 votes were cast to help identify the latest winners in one of four categories: Environmental Protection and Restoration; Education and Social Investment; Energy Assistance and Conservation; and Health and Wellbeing.
Voting for the Fall 2011 Fueling Good program comes to a close on Oct. 27, and the next 12 winners will be announced in November. Registration for the Winter program begins Dec. 1 and all 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations based in the 26 states and District of Columbia in which CITGO operates are invited to submit an entry at www.FuelingGood.com.
In other CITGO news, marketers Barrick Enterprises, RKA Petroleum, Tri-Lakes Petroleum and Watkins Oil have launched the "Building Blocks for C.S. Mott" campaign to support the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. C.S. Mott Children's Hospital "building blocks" can be purchased for $1 at 13 participating CITGO locations across Ann Arbor, Mich., through Nov. 12. The money will go to C.S. Mott's Family Hope Fund, which provides practical help to families with children who are being treated at the hospital.
"At a time when many families are struggling, an increase in donations for the Family Hope Fund is extremely important," said Anita Clos, social work manager at C.S. Mott. "We hope that the 'Building Blocks for C.S. Mott' campaign will be the foundation of a long-term partnership with CITGO and the local CITGO marketers and retailers."
Additional events and promotions will take place throughout the six-week campaign, including giveaways from Kellogg's for individuals who purchase $5 or more worth of $1 blocks.
SavOn Convenience Stores
All of the Oneida Nation's SavOn Convenience Stores will be passing out Trick or Treat bags to children. If they return with these bags anytime on Monday, Oct. 31 (Halloween), the SavOn staff will put Halloween goodies in the bag.
According to Sean Jones, SavOn manager of marketing and category development, "This is SavOn's way of providing a safe Trick or Treat environment for area children."
The Nation's SavOn Convenience Stores are located in Verona, Verona Beach, Sherrill, Oneida and Canastota, N.Y.
Tyson Foods' commitment to the U.S. military and military veterans was highlighted at a presidential event with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
"As the No. 1 food supplier to military commissaries worldwide, an active employer of veterans and a strong advocate for quality of life for military families, we are proud to be here," said Tyson Foods president and CEO Donnie Smith, one of eight food company executives present at the Langley Air Force Base event.
Smith was part of a small group that met privately with both the President and First Lady before Michelle Obama announced a major initiative by military commissary suppliers to hire more veterans and military family members as part of the "Joining Forces" initiative.
Tyson is part of the American Logistics Association, which committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next two years.
"Tyson Foods supports and honors veterans," Smith said. "We've employed thousands of veterans over the years and we're always looking to hire more. Not only are they excellent workers who are well-trained and have strong leadership skills, they also have a dedication, honesty and accountability that fits with the Tyson culture."
Another way Tyson Foods supports the military is by providing differential pay for all employees called to active military duty, making up the difference between military compensation and the pay they normally receive from Tyson. Since September 11, 2001, Tyson has provided more than $2 million in differential pay to almost 400 employees.