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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 highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
CITGO launched the fourth edition of the 2013 CITGO-Venezuela Energy Efficient Lighting Program (EELP), which will provide 625,000 compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to families in 21 U.S. cities this year.
The EELP is a social investment initiative that began as a pilot program in 2008. Considering the life cycle of the more than 1.9 million CFL bulbs distributed since the program's inception, the CITGO-Venezuela EELP has helped save more than $75 million in energy costs for more than 175,000 families and reduced energy consumption by more than 800 million kilowatt hours.
The EELP is expected to help approximately 62,500 low-income households conserve energy. Throughout their lifetime, the CFLs distributed this year will save almost $29 million in energy costs, nearly 303 million kilowatt hours and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 466 million pounds; equivalent to removing close to 42,000 cars from the road.
The light bulbs will be distributed through community action groups in 21 cities across the CITGO footprint. Along with the CFL bulbs, program beneficiaries will receive educational brochures about energy efficiency and conservation, as well as detailed information on how to properly dispose of old CFLs.
The Bronx is just one of the communities in the 21 cities across the United States to benefit from the EELP this year. CITGO and its community partner, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, will provide 39,000 compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to help low-income families reduce energy costs and protect the environment.
The EELP will also provide CFL bulb lifetime energy savings of 12,648,000 KWh for Bronx families. The CFLs distributed throughout the Bronx will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 19,462,092 pounds, the equivalent of removing 1,730 cars from the road.
In addition to the EELP, CITGO also supports the South Bronx with its Social Programs and Environmental Initiative, which launched in 2007.
Everyday Shops & Cafes
Everyday Shops & Cafes, a convenience store chain owned and operated by GPM Investments LLC, presented $12,500 in grants to Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation to support community health initiatives in Charlottesville, Va., thanks to the BP Fueling Communities Program.
The Everyday Shops & Cafes chain, which operates 14 BP fueling sites in central Virginia, has awarded a total of $25,000 to the Hospital Foundation since 2012.
Similarly this past summer, Young’s Food Stores, one of GPM’s convenience store brands in its Southeast division, granted $12,500 to Toumey (Healthcare System) Foundation in Sumter, S.C. Throughout the last three years, Everyday Shops and Young’s Stores have granted $62,500 through the BP Fueling Communities Program.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love’s Travel Stops and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals made a $2 million donation that will benefit 92 CMN Hospitals across the country. Love’s recently wrapped up a five-week fundraising campaign at its 304 travel stop and country store locations. Love’s employees and customers worked together to raise the record amount for its 15th campaign, most of which came one dollar at a time.
During the campaign, Love’s team members sold paper hearts for donations and organized grassroots fundraising events for their communities like golf tournaments, bake sales, cookouts and music concerts. Across the country, managers shaved their heads, took pies in the face and even kissed pigs to motivate their teams to raise even more.
This year, Love’s store teams and customers raised $1.5 million, and the additional $500,000 came from golf tournaments organized by employees at corporate offices in Oklahoma City and Houston, as well as corporate donations and money donated at air pumps at Love’s locations.
Love’s has raised a total of $9.5 million in 15 years supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Phillips 66 will contribute $250,000 to the American Red Cross to assist in the relief efforts following the devastating floods in Colorado. In addition, the company will match employee and retiree contributions for disaster relief.
Stripes -- a division of Susser Holdings Corp. -- raised more than $525,000 at its annual Turf + Surf event fundraiser benefiting 38 United Way agencies across the Stripes Convenience Stores market areas in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The event took place on Sept. 26-27 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The fundraiser featured an appreciation dinner that offered a raffle, silent auction, a bid board auction and a live auction. The festivities continued the next morning with three rounds of golf and a fishing tournament. David Stockton served as this year's celebrity golf pro. Stockton hosted a private clinic for premium sponsors and offered golf tips for participants in the tournament.
Wawa went pink last week when it opened its 18th store in the Orlando, Fla., area.
The grand opening honored Wawa's Gold sponsorship of the Susan G. Komen Central Florida Race for the Cure on Oct. 6. All tablecloths and ribbons were pink, and the firefighters and police officers participating in the charitable Hoagies for Heroes hoagie building competition wore pink hats and aprons.