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PITTSBURGH and YORK, Pa. -- Two lucky customers of Pennsylvania-based convenience store chains have won free gas for a year in separate contests sponsored by the regional retailers. Susan L. Traska, of Pittsburgh, is the grand prize winner of free gas for a year from 7-Eleven licensee Handee Marts Inc., a result of the retailer's successful summer giveaway campaign with the Carnegie Science Center.
Since launching its social media platform in summer 2010, Handee Marts has remained heavily involved in Facebook and "Text-to-Win" contests. This year, it added another element to the mix, a partnership with the popular Carnegie Science Center. Starting on June 1st and running through the end of August, customers were prompted to text 711 to 41411. Each week, Handee Marts held a random drawing of entrants; the winner received a $25 7-Eleven gas card and passes to the Carnegie Science Center. By entering the contest, customers were eligible for the grand prize -- free gas for a year. The grand prize winner was selected on August 31st.
The contest, which was greatly prompted through social media, is the company's most successful contest to date, according to Bruce Earhart, vice president of marketing. "We're thrilled that we can give back to the community through social media," said Earhart. "It's important to stay relevant with current societal trends. I think that's what made this contest so successful."
Since last year, Handee Marts has seen a tremendous increase in social media interaction from the public. "We will continue our efforts to provide the community with deals, giveaways and information about our stores through Facebook and Twitter," said Earhart. "We expect to increase our interaction with our customers even more in the upcoming year through our social media efforts."
Handee Marts is a 40-year 7-Eleven licensee of 63 stores located in western Pennsylvania, northeast Ohio, and some counties in West Virginia and Maryland.
Also this week, Rutter's Farm Stores announced the eighth customer to win free gas for a whole year in the York, Pa.-based convenience store chain's Fuel Up Free summer contest.
Tammy Lawyer of Hanover, Pa., gained entrance into the Fuel Up Free summer contest at Rutter's by making qualifying purchases and scanning her Rutter's Rewards card during the month of August. Each time she bought an item from the list of eligible items, her name was entered into the grand prize drawing.
"I'm in nursing school, and this is going to help so much with the commute back and forth from work and school," said Lawyer.
Like the seven winners before her, Lawyer will enjoy 12 months of free fuel-ups at Rutter's.
The Fuel Up Free contest began May 23, 2011 and ran through the end of August, with the final winner announced September 15, 2011.
Rutter's Farm Stores is a family-owned and third generation managed business operating 56 convenience stores throughout Central PA.