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    Convenience Store Operator Gives an Education

    Son honors C.E. Fikes, founder of the 75-store CEFCO chain, with scholarship gift.

    TEMPLE, Texas -- The son of CEFCO Convenience Stores founder C.E. Fikes recently presented a $25,000 gift to the C.E. Fikes Endowed Scholarship at Temple College.

    The gift, given by James R. Fikes and his wife, was in memory of the longtime Central Texas businessman and founder of CEFCO, a subsidiary of Fikes Wholesale Inc. that owns and operates more than 75 convenience stores in the Central Texas area.

    "The generous endowment gift by Mr. and Mrs. James Fikes is greatly appreciated," Rosemary Hauser, executive director of the Temple College Foundation, said in a statement from CEFCO. "C.E. Fikes obviously valued education, and the Fikes choose to honor his memory by helping others to gain an education. The earnings from the endowment will be used to award scholarships."

    The foundation has set a $4 million goal for the Scholarship Endowment Fund. Hauser said the Fikes' gift would help to reach that goal.

    Beginning in 2008, the endowment will provide full tuition and fee scholarships to Temple College students. Each recipient must be a full-time student maintaining a 3.0 GPA. First preference will be given to a student employed by Fikes Wholesale Inc. or one of its subsidiaries. Second preference will go to a child or grandchild of an employee of Fikes or one of its subsidiaries, while a student working toward an associate's degree in business, including accounting, marketing, management, human resources or information technology will be given third preference.

    CEFCO Convenience Stores began operations in 1952 as a single Texaco service station in Cameron. C. E. Fikes, the station's sole proprietor and company namesake, turned his attention to the wholesale fuel business, then retail fuel and grocery in 1979. A decade later, James R. Fikes became president after his father's death. The corporate office moved to Temple in 1994.

    Fikes Wholesale owns and operates additional companies including Group Petroleum Services Inc., a petroleum common carrier; CORD Financial Services, an ATM provider; Sunbelt Ice Co., a manufacturer and distributor of ice products; Fleet Fuel Services, a credit card provider for fleet customers; and JF Air Traffic Inc., an air charter service.

    Fikes Wholesale and its subsidiary companies have more than 900 employees in the Central Texas area.

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