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NEW YORK -- Convenience Store News and Sheetz Inc. were honored this week by American Business Media's (ABM) William D. Littleford Awards for Corporate Community Service. The annual awards recognize the outstanding community-service efforts of companies, organizations or individuals, as covered in ABM-member news outlets and nominated by editors and publishers of association members.
At a luncheon held Tuesday at the Union League Club in New York, CSNews and Sheetz were named second runners-up, and each received an engraved silver Tiffany cup. Sheetz also received a $750 check for its Sheetz Family Christmas charity.
"Sheetz has long been a leader of innovative in the convenience-store industry for its business model. But we hope our article illustrated that Sheetz is also a leader in the doing of good deeds, and returning something back to the communities in which it operates," CSNews editor-in-chief Don Longo said upon accepting the award. "Sheetz stands out for the hands-on dedication of its employees and for showing that there really is a business return for being a good corporate citizen."
Sheetz' nomination was based on an article from the March 5 issue of CSNews, "Turning Donations Into Dollars," written by senior writer Linda Lisanti. The story highlighted Sheetz's numerous philanthropy efforts, including its chainwide initiatives, such as Special Olympics and the privately-held Sheetz Family Christmas. To view the article that appeared in the magazine, download the file by clicking the link at the end of this document.
Sheetz has donated more than $1.5 million to Special Olympics Pennsylvania, and has given more than $500,000 in financial and in-kind donations to events in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. Sheetz employees also produce and cater thousands of lunches for Special Olympics' events and actively volunteer their time to help with the summer and winter games, according to the CSNews report.
Sheetz Family Christmas is an annual program where the chain works with the Salvation Army to identify deserving children in its six-state footprint. Since 1992, it has raised $3.9 million and helped more than 29,000 children. Funds for Sheetz Family Christmas are raised through a number of initiatives from individual stores selling snowflakes for a $1 donation to the company's annual charity golf outing, held each spring.
Travis Sheetz, vice president of operations, accepted the ABM award on behalf of the Altoona, Pa.-based retailer, and spoke of community service being "a legacy for the chain." He noted that the company urges its store managers to support their local little league teams, and said today, there are hundreds of Sheetz-sponsored little league groups.
"We don't like to toot our own horn, but we appreciate this," Sheetz said during the event. He also commended the other winners, adding that "Community service is something that a lot of people talk about, but a lot less actually do something about it."
Other companies honored with 2007 William D. Littleford Awards are:
-- Halcrow Group (nominated by McGraw-Hill's Engineering News-Record) donated more than $147,000 in aid to victims of the devastating 2004 tsunami and sent engineers to help a Malawi village build new water wells, an African village build a sanitation facility, and aid in the construction of more than 12 new houses in Sri Lanka.
-- Library Journal (nominated by Reed Business Information) launched a Library Makeover program in an effort to showcase the latest in library design, furnishings and technology, as well as to benefit individual libraries.
-- mercyFirst (nominated by CMP Technology's Web site) provides teenagers living at mercyFirst's St. Mary's Campus in Syosset, N.Y., with guidance and mentorship through two annual four-week job shadowing programs designed to expose young men to future career possibilities.
-- Volunteers in Medicine (nominated by Ascend Media's Physician's Money Digest) established a Hilton Head, S.C., clinic to provide affordable healthcare by utilizing a staff comprised almost entirely of retired medical professionals.
-- A.G. Edwards (nominated by Ascend Media's Physician's Money Digest) created a Nest Egg Knowledge for Kids program that allows A.G. Edwards employees to take time out of their busy days to participate in kid-friendly programs at local museums, focused on educating children for their financial futures.
Download: "Turning Donations Into Dollars," from the March 5 issue of Convenience Store News.