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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:
Valero Corner Stores' employees and their customers raised more than $1.9 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals during a four-week fundraising campaign held Sept. 6 to Oct. 3. The campaign took place in all 991 Corner Store locations across the country. Funds raised will benefit 32 children's hospitals across eight states.
Corner Store employees raised the funds by asking customers to purchase $1 or $5 Miracle Balloon icons for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity that raises funds for 170 children's hospitals. In addition to the Miracle Balloons, customers had an opportunity to purchase a "Glow for Kids" glow-in-the-dark bracelet for $1.
Valero has been a partner of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 1995, raising more than $14.5 million for children's hospitals.
Quick Chek's Riding Team, a group of 14 Quick Chek volunteers, completed the Nov. 19 and 20 Tour de Tucson weekend-long bike ride event, raising $100,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). They surpassed the more than $76,000 that the team raised for the nonprofit organization in 2010.
This was the Quick Chek Riding Team's second trek to Tucson, Ariz., to participate in the 111-mile charity bike ride, designed to aid in finding a cure for the childhood disease. The team consisted of Quick Chek executives, employees, and friends and family.
Quick Chek Senior Vice President Mike Murphy brought the JDRF cause to Quick Chek's attention three years ago when he raised a record-setting $15,000 in donations by a single individual for the JDRF 100-mile Ride for the Cure held in Whitefish, Mont.
Jacksons Food Stores
Jacksons Food Stores and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence launched the "Give the Gift of Peace" campaign to raise funds for the prevention of domestic violence and dating violence through community awareness.
The campaign will run through the end of the year. At the end, Jacksons CEO John Jackson will match Jacksons Food Stores customers' contributions dollar for dollar with all the proceeds going to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Since 2003, customers have contributed to the annual campaign by purchasing a paper dove for $1 at Jacksons Food Stores. Through its 2010 campaign, Washington Jacksons Food Stores customers contributed more than $14,000, resulting in $28,000-plus in donations, including Jacksons' dollar-for-dollar match contribution.
Jacksons Food Stores in Idaho, Oregon and Nevada will also participate in the campaign, and proceeds will go toward coalitions against domestic violence in the respective states.
Since 2003, Wawa and Glen Riddle Rotary Club have supported Riddle Hospital in its Operation Warm Delco to raise funds that provide thousands of new winter coats to children in need who live in Delaware County, Pa.
Recently, at the 8th Annual Community Partners Breakfast that kicked off Delco's Operation Warm Campaign, host Howard Stoeckel, CEO of Wawa, surprised the crowd with his announcement of a $10,000 donation.
This year, Operation Warm will hand out its 1,000,000th new winter coat to a child. The focus is on a "new" coat, produced by manufacturers and chosen by Operation Warm, so that they are colorful, stylish and of high quality. Parents and caregivers must register their child for a coat at their schools. The campaign will conclude on Dec. 31.
Community members can support the campaign by making an online donation at www.operationwarm.org where residents can also read about the program and view photos of children in their new coats.
Cumberland Farms continues to raise money to help wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Over the next four weeks, Cumberland Farms will donate 20 cents from every Chill Zone beverage, iced tea, and coffee (iced or hot) purchased at its newly remodeled store at 535 East Main Street in Burlington, Vt. to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont. Cumberland Farms aims to raise at least $1,000 for the foundation.
Fannin County Schools in North Texas were presented $500 grants ($12,000 in total) from Kwik Chek Food Stores/McCraw Oil Co. through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program. The ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program is designed to provide Exxon and Mobil retailers with an opportunity to invest in the future of their communities through educational alliance grants to neighborhood schools.
ExxonMobil believes that, as members of the community, local retailers are best qualified to work with local educators to help identify schools and programs most in need of support. ExxonMobil encourages the schools to use the grants for math and/or science.
Kwik Chek/McCraw Oil met stringent eligibility criteria before applying for and being awarded the grants, including having a recognized commitment to provide a superior buying experience for customers. The company worked with school officials to secure the grants.
Automated Petroleum & Energy Co. (APEC)
To fuel the spirit of BP's sponsorship of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Tampa-based BP marketer Automated Petroleum & Energy Co. (APEC) teamed up with Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay to help build awareness of the benefits of recreational and competitive sports for youth and adults with physical disabilities.
Holiday Hoops for Hope, a free event open to the public, took place during the Tampa Downtown Market last week. The event provided an opportunity for area residents to learn how youth and adults with disabilities overcome physical challenges through recreational and competitive sports at Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay, a program of Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Club members were available to teach attendees about the unique skills it takes to perform various sports as an athlete with disabilities. Demonstrations included wheelchair basketball and hand-cycling.
APEC, a BP marketer that supplies 37 BP branded stations in three Florida counties, presented a $10,000 grant donation to Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay at the event. The donation was made possible through the BP Fueling Communities grant program, which will help fund the sport activities available at the club, such as wheelchair basketball, track and field, archery and swimming. In addition, BP made a matching donation of $10,000 worth of adaptive sports equipment for the members of the club.
"BP's sponsorship of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams inspired us to show our support and commitment to Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay and help raise awareness about the opportunities available through the U.S. Paralympic Team," said Bill McKnight, president of APEC. "This donation is part of our commitment to make a positive impact in the community where we do business and take inspiration from Tampa athletes who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds."
As part of its Fueling Good campaign, now in its third year, CITGO is awarding $60,000 in gift cards to 12 charities to help extend their "Ripples of Good" and the impact of their work. The Fueling Good campaign has grown steadily over the years, with more than 1,500 charities entering this fall's program and more than 102,000 votes cast to help determine the current round of winners.
"CITGO, along with the independent owners and operators of the more than 6,000 locally owned CITGO stations, is proud to present the Fall 2011 Fueling Good winners," said Daniel Cortez, vice president, government and public affairs for CITGO. "The principle of Fueling Good is central to how we at CITGO run our business. We understand that giving back to those in need and helping the individual communities in which we and our local station owners operate is one of the core values of our business. We look forward to watching all of the 'Ripples of Good' grow through the strength of these great charities."
The 12 winners in the Fall 2011 Fueling Good program are spread across CITGO's footprint:
• Racine Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, Wisconsin
• Head Start of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
• CFS Knowledge Center, Inc., Florida
• Keep Kids Connected, Texas
• Travelers Aid, Pennsylvania
• Canine Castaways, Florida
• HEAR US Inc., Illinois
• Lehigh Valley Health Network Miles of Smiles, Pennsylvania
• Southern Sustainable Resources, South Carolina
• Pink Ribbon Riders, Michigan • ACHIEVA, Pennsylvania
• UNC Dance Marathon, North Carolina