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CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc. has raised more than $3.17 million through its summer-long Kangaroo Express Salute Our Troops fundraising campaign. The amount tops the total raised during the inaugural 2011 campaign, the company said.
The campaign will culminate in a check presentation event at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Oct. 3. Military personnel, veterans, cause partner volunteers, sponsors, employees and their families will be on hand for the event.
Kangaroo Express' Salute Our Troops campaign ran from the Fourth of July through Labor Day. Customers were invited to make donations at the chain's more than 1,500 convenience stores in 13 states. Donations from the campaign directly support the USO; the Wounded Warrior Project; and six state-based military support organizations.
"Kangaroo Express guests and associates elevated the Salute Our Troops campaign to unprecedented levels this summer. It is their enthusiasm and passion that shows we, as a community, are here to support our troops and their families," said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing, merchandising and restaurant operations, Kangaroo Express. "This significant donation builds on Kangaroo Express' ongoing commitment and gratitude for the sacrifices required to protect our nation and preserve our freedom. We look forward to continuing to work with our sponsors, sales associates and store guests to support our servicemen and women and their families all year long."
The other Salute Our Troops beneficiaries include the Enlisted Association of National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund Inc., Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, North Carolina National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, South Carolina Military Family Care Association, and the United States Veterans Corps based in North Carolina.
More than 200 Salute Our Troops celebrations were held at Kangaroo Express stores and community events throughout the southeastern United States led by the Salute Our Troops Caravan. Celebrations included custom military vehicles and the Salute Our Troops Command Center, where store guests had the opportunity to add their own voice of gratitude with "shout outs" of pride and appreciation. More than 3,000 "shout outs" are showcased on the Salute Our Troops website.
Salute Our Troops presenting sponsor PepsiCo was the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express' fundraising goal.
"We are proud to once again join Kangaroo Express in this annual campaign that, for the second year, has provided record-breaking support for troops and their families," said Chris DeLong, vice president of the Dollar, Drug and Convenience Store Channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages.