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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:
ATLAS OIL CO.
Atlas Oil purchased a new K9 police dog for the Taylor Police Department in Michigan, and plans to purchase another one for the department in the near future.
The Taylor Police Department recognized the need to add a K9 unit to its team this past winter, but did not have the necessary funds to secure one. Recognizing Atlas Oil as a strong corporate citizen with a longstanding history of supporting the community, the police department and the city of Taylor approached Atlas Oil Chairman and CEO Sam Simon with the idea for Atlas Oil to sponsor the dog and name it after the company.
With Atlas Oil’s support, the Taylor Police Department secured Atlas, an 18-month-old German Shepherd, in the spring. After 12 weeks of certification, Atlas is now serving regular shifts as the newest member of the police department. The second K9 will be selected and trained at a later date.
In other company news, Atlas Oil and CITGO Petroleum Corp. raised nearly $1,000 to support anti-bullying awareness as part of the "Be A Star. Buy A Star." fundraiser. Nineteen Atlas Oil CITGO locations across Michigan invited customers to purchase paper stars for $1 or more to benefit the 2013-2014 Relentless Tour: Ianni Project, a grassroots initiative by the Autism Alliance of Michigan designed to help eradicate bullying across the state.
As the official fuel sponsors for the statewide tour, Atlas Oil and CITGO have also supported the program with special station events and fundraising efforts, including tour bus stops.
CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.
Chevron U.S.A. recently launched the 2014 Fuel Your School program, an innovative collaboration with DonorsChoose.org, an online organization that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.
This year, the Fuel Your School program will expand and generate up to $8.6 million in classroom supply funding for educators in 22 U.S. communities in the 14 states where Chevron operates. Local Chevron and Texaco marketers in six markets will assist in the program.
Public school teachers from participating communities are now invited to post eligible classroom projects at www.DonorsChoose.org. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, the Fuel Your School program will donate $1 to help fund eligible classroom projects when consumers purchase eight or more gallons of fuel at participating Chevron or Texaco stations, up to a total of $8.6 million.
Since its 2010 inception, Fuel Your School has helped fund more than 17,000 classroom projects at 3,200 K-12 public schools. Project funding has increased annually from up to $1 million in 2010 to up to $8.6 million for the 2014 program. The majority of project requests and funding to date have helped support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
In other company news, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation recognized Chevron for its three years of financial support for the department’s whooping crane reintroduction project, which began in 2011.
To date, Chevron has funded $400,000 in grants, providing satellite transmitter equipment and covering associated communications costs for tracking the movement of the cranes released from the White Lake Wetland Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish, La. Biologists plot the birds’ movement, habitat selections and adaptive behavior as they adjust to life in the wild.
The whooping crane, a very vulnerable species, was found in south Louisiana until their demise during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since 2011, the foundation has "soft released" 50 isolation-reared, juvenile cranes into rural southwest Louisiana, and 29 survive today.
CST Brands Inc.'s Corner Store introduced its inaugural signature charity event, a 5K fun run series called the Corner Store Country Run. The series will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and local children’s charities.
The eight-city series will begin in Montreal, Canada, on Sept. 13 and end in San Antonio on Nov. 15. The course will be country-themed with hay bales, corn stalks and giant inflatable cows and pigs. Participants are encouraged to dress the part with over-the-top country attire, and to stick around after the run for a free country fair featuring food and drinks, live music, a beer garden, carnival games and giveaways from sponsors.
In other company news, Corner Store associates recently asked customers to "Put Their Money Where the Miracles Are" by purchasing a $1 or $5 Miracle Balloon at the register to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity that raises funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals in North America.
Corner Store raised more than $1.85 million during its 30-day fundraising campaign. Those funds will directly benefit 33 member hospitals in the communities where Corner Store operates.
Corner Store has been a partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1995.
KWIK TRIP INC.
Kwik Trip has pledged $25,000 over the next three years to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Capital Campaign. The donation will help pay for the newly purchased building in La Crosse, Wis., that will house the ReStore, which is currently located in downtown La Crosse.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home-improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS & COUNTRY STORES
Love's kicked off its 16th annual fundraising effort for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The campaign began Aug. 25 and runs through Sept. 30. This year's theme is "Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are."
During the campaign, cashiers at more than 320 Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores nationwide are asking customers to buy paper balloons for $1, $5 or $20. The money will go to the store's local Children’s Miracle Network partner hospital.
Love's stores are getting the entire community behind the campaign, raising even more money by hosting special events such as carnivals, cookouts, golf tournaments and dunk tanks.