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    Community Service Spotlight: C-store Industry Supports Children’s Charities

    Casey's, Kwik Trip and Western Refining among contributors.

    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 will highlight these philanthropic efforts in this special section.

    Here are the latest company spotlights, highlighting initiatives supporting children’s charities:

    Casey’s General Stores Inc. 

    2016 marks Casey’s General Stores and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) 10th year of partnership. This year, Casey's end goal is to raise enough money to send more than 900 children to MDA Summer Camp. Now through Sept. 5, the convenience store retailer is selling pinups for $1 and $5 contributions. The pinups also include a “buy two, get one free” coupon for 7UP products. 

    At MDA Summer Camp, children with muscle-debilitating diseases have the opportunity to take part in customized activities like swimming, horseback riding, zip-lining, adaptive sports, camp dances and more. Casey’s raised $1.4 million during its 2015 summer camp pinup program, and has raised more than $5.75 million since first teaming up with MDA in 2006. 

    Cumberland Farms Inc.

    Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms launched its fifth-annual Cups for Kids campaign, a month-long fundraiser that benefits pediatric care programs at five children’s hospitals throughout the Northeast. During the month of August, five cents from every iced coffee or Chill Zone beverage purchased at specified Cumberland Farms locations will go directly to participating hospitals.

    The benefiting hospitals include: Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center (iced coffee); Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (iced coffee); Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center (Chill Zone beverages); Connecticut Children's Medical Center (Chill Zone); and Barbara Bush Hospital at Maine Medical Center (Chill Zone). 

    Cumberland Farms kicked off the campaign with an event at Jillian’s in Boston, where patients and families from each hospital gathered for a private celebration that included bowling and other games before attending the Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers matchup.

    Kwik Trip Inc.

    As part of Kwik Trip’s commitment to making healthier choices easier, the La Crosse, Wis.-based retailer raised $65,000 during its 2016 coin canister campaign in support of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) mission to fight childhood obesity. Throughout the month of June, all 491 Kwik Trip locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa placed canisters at every checkout lane to encourage donations.

    Since partnering with PHA in 2014, Kwik Trip has raised $180,000 through its canister campaign.

    Van Holten & Sons Inc.

    Waterloo, Wis.-based Van Holten entered into a long-term partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, whereby all of the supplier’s Pickle-in-a-Pouch and Pickle-Ice products will feature the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s logo to increase awareness and recognition of clubs nationwide. The partnership was officially announced at the 2016 Gilbert Brown Football Camp, a free, three-day program hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Wisconsin, where area kids learned football fundamentals from professional players.

    "Boys & Girls Clubs fill an important need in many communities where our customers live and work," said Steve Byrnes, president of Van Holten & Sons. "We are proud to support them and help open the doors to a great future for kids across the country."

    Western Refining Inc.

    Western Refining also participated in the MDA Summer Camp pinup campaign, raising $600,000 from May 2 through June 13. More than 260 Western Refining locations throughout the Southwest, operating under the Giant and Howdy’s brands, sold paper pinups for $1, $5 or other contributions in order to send local children to MDA Summer Camps throughout the Southwest.

    Donations raised during the pinup program in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and West Texas help support MDA’s efforts to make each camp fully-accessible and medically-safe for its campers. Donations also help provide meals and snacks for each child, 24-hour medial staff on-site, lodging for the full week, and customized activities. 

    Since 2012, Western Refining has raised more than $2 million in support of MDA.

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