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CARY, N.C. – Kangaroo Express, a subsidiary of The Pantry Inc., will hold its fourth annual "Salute Our Troops" campaign. Consumers are invited to demonstrate their support for military personnel and their families at the more than 1,350 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states.
From the week before Independence Day through Labor Day, June 25 through Sept. 2, Kangaroo Express will accept customer donations to the campaign at its checkout counters.
"Considering more than one-third of our employees have a direct connection to the military, supporting our troops means supporting our family," said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of operations for Kangaroo Express. "We are enlisting our team for the fourth consecutive year to show our united appreciation for our nation's military members and their families, and raise funds to support the organizations dedicated to helping them."
Campaign donations will support the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, which provides emergency communications, comfort and assistance to military, veterans and their families; Fisher House Foundation, which donates "comfort homes" at major military and VA medical centers that enable military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization; the U.S. Veterans Corps, a corps of military veterans, spouses, dependents and patriotic citizens performing hands-on community service with a mission and deployment attitude; as well as six state-based military support organizations, according to the announcement.
Additionally, for the first time, the 2014 summer-long initiative will introduce Salute Our Troops "Roo Rides," motorcycle charity rides that will stop at Kangaroo Express locations, local military support organizations, community parks, memorials and more to drive hometown support and recognize military heroes and families in local communities along its route.
"The first Salute Our Troops ROO Rides, back in 2011, were organically organized by passionate Kangaroo Express store associates and managers in Rome, Ga., and Sanford, N.C.," said Schmidt. "Embracing the overwhelming success of these grassroots events and the passion our team has for supporting our U.S. Armed Forces will make 'Roo Rides' an integral part of the fourth year of this worthy campaign."
More information on the Salute Our Troops Roo Rides and RSVP opportunities are available at www.KESalute.com.
PepsiCo Inc. will serve as the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express' fundraising goal for the fourth consecutive year.
"We are proud to join Kangaroo Express in showing our support for troops and their families," said Chris DeLong, vice president of the dollar, drug and convenience store channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages. "This annual campaign continues to allow Kangaroo Express, its guests and PepsiCo to give back to our courageous servicemen and women."
The Salute Our Troops campaign has raised $8.4 million since its 2011 inception. The state-based organizations that benefit from the fundraising initiative include the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund, Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund of North Carolina, South Carolina Military Family Care Association, and the USO of North Carolina.