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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 is inviting eligible 501(c)(3) organizations to enter its fall Fueling Good program to win $5,000 in CITGO gift cards for doing good in their local communities. From now until Oct. 20, nonprofit organizations can enter this year's program by going to www.FuelingGood.com/participate or to the Fueling Good Facebook page.
From Oct. 21 to Dec. 1, the general public, including volunteers and supporters of each eligible charity that has registered, will be able to vote once per day for the entry that’s making the most impact. A total of nine winners will be announced in December and awarded $5,000 each in CITGO gift cards to help them do more good.
Eligible organizations must be relevant to one of the four CITGO brand pillars: education and social investment; energy assistance and conservation; environmental protection and restoration; or health and well-being. In addition, they must operate within the 27 states or the District of Columbia where there are CITGO-branded locations.
Jacksons Food Stores Inc.
Jacksons Food Stores Inc. and the Dairy Farmers of Washington presented an Apple iPad Learning Lab to Jennie Reed Elementary School in Tacoma, Wash.
The organizations partnered on a campaign, “Milk Builds Strong Schools,” which set aside 5 percent of Jacksons’ milk sales in Washington to fund the purchase of an iPad Learning Lab for a randomly selected school in the state. The campaign ran from March 13 through May 28.
The iPad Learning Lab streamlines the management of classroom sets of iPad devices. Each lab includes 10 iPad devices and a mobile cart that can store, charge and sync up to 30 iPad devices.
The Pantry Inc.’s Kangaroo Express is hosting a Roo Run 5K race through the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida to raise funds for Give Kids The World Village (GKTW), a 70-acre, nonprofit “storybook” village in central Florida that provides cost-free, weeklong vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Runners will meet at the starting line at the Jacksonville Zoo on Saturday, Oct. 12. The top fundraiser will be awarded a $100 Visa gift card, with the next highest fundraiser receiving a $50 Visa gift card.
Kangaroo Express guests can also donate to GKTW at the nearly 570 participating Florida, Georgia and South Carolina Kangaroo Express convenience stores by purchasing a $1 or $5 pinup to hang in the store, or by donating their change at the register.
Since October 2011, Kangaroo Express has helped raise more than $1 million for GKTW, allowing more than 195 children and their families to enjoy a magical vacation.
Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.
Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc. pledged $250,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. The Welcome Center in the new Central New York Ronald McDonald House is named the “Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes’ Welcome Center,” where guest families are greeted by sympathetic, friendly volunteers and staff who welcome them to their “home away from home.”
In other company news, Nice N Easy awarded Linda Nelson Memorial Scholarships to seven local students. Established by President, Founder and CEO John MacDougall, the award is in memory of Linda Nelson, a spirited Nice N Easy store manager who passed away suddenly in 2001, shortly after learning she had cancer. The scholarship is designed in Linda’s memory to financially assist students that possess the same qualities that Linda found so important -- the desire to learn and grow.
Criteria for receiving the scholarship includes being a current employee of the chain or the son/daughter of a current employee. Applicants must be completing their senior year in high school or have earned a GED certificate and will be attending college, or they may already be enrolled in an accredited college or university. The scholarships are given annually to students based on their academic achievements and character attributes.
Western Refining Inc.
Phoenix-area employees of Western Refining Inc. raised $108,058 to provide assistance to the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters who were killed while battling the 2,000-acre Yarnell Hill fire in late June.
After 19 members of the Prescott Fire Department lost their lives in that effort, Western Refining employees pulled together personal contributions to support the families left behind in the tragedy. During the months of July and August, more than 200 Western Refining employees wrote checks or made payroll deduction donations, all of which went to the families. Western Refining also pledged to match the employee funds raised.