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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:
CEFCO Convenience Stores
CEFCO and parent company Fikes Wholesale Inc., based in Temple, Texas, and operating more than 250 stores, held its 14th annual “Hackers-R-Us” Charity Golf Tournament on May 18. The event raised a record total of $763,000.
Of the money raised this year, $713,000 will go to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals; $25,000 to the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Belton Texas C.E. Fikes Endowed Scholarship; and $25,000 to the Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, Florida C.E. Fikes Endowed Scholarship.
Also announced during the tournament was a $208,000 installment toward CEFCO’s $1-million commitment to the Fikes/CEFCO Emergency Center at the McLane’s Children Hospital.
“Just five years ago, our total contribution was $145,000. Our results this year represent a $618,000, or more than 400 percent, improvement since then. This does not happen without tremendous passion by all of our team members for these very worthy causes,” said Brett Giesick, chief retail officer at CEFCO Convenience Stores.
CST Brands Inc.
Big Brother Big Sisters of America (BBBS) held its 2015 National Conference Awards Gala and honored CST Brands, based in San Antonio, with the Community Impact Award. This recognizes a partner whose engaging and unique programming brings together diverse groups across the country in support of BBBS.
CST Brands’ activation of its inaugural 2014 CST 5K Country Run campaign financially benefited eight local agencies, raised more than $500,000 and drew thousands of volunteers, donors and participants to put on their country attire to run for BBBS.
Englefield Oil Co.
Duchess, the retail division of Englefield Oil and operator of 122 gas stations and convenience stores based in Health, Ohio, partnered with the American Red Cross to promote Red Cross Month in Duchess locations during the month of March.
Throughout the month, customers were able to purchase $1, $2 or $5 icons at the chain’s 122 Duchess sites, and all donations collected went directly to the local chapters of the American Red Cross. Wrigley also donated a portion of the proceeds of Big Red gum sales to the Red Cross as well. All told, Duchess raised $50,460 in the 31-day campaign.
The donations will fund critical programs of the American Red Cross, including disaster relief, emergency messaging and community preparedness education.
Rutter's Farm Stores
Rutter’s Children’s Charities raised a record-setting $135,000 to benefit central Pennsylvania children’s charities at its 13th annual golf outing held in York, Pa.
The annual event has raised more than $1.4 million for children’s charities in central Pennsylvania since its beginning in 2003, bringing the total donated by Rutter’s to local charities to more than $4.65 million since 2003.
“We focus on local organizations that work to improve the lives of children. We invest in future generations by giving children the opportunity to learn and grow with the hope that someday they will give back and help others,” said Rutter’s CEO Scott Hartman.
This year, $100,000 from the outing will be used to fund two new Rutter’s corporate giving initiatives: Vote with Your Dollars and Rutter’s Rewards Schools.
To take part in Vote with Your Dollars, children’s charities submit an application to the donation committee online at Rutter.com. The committee selects several charities to be featured in the program, and each charity encourages their network to select their cause on the Rutter’s website or using Rutter’s mobile app, then shop with registered Rutter’s Rewards cards or VIP Club credentials to effectively “vote with their dollars” to support the philanthropic request.
The more customers choose a charity and shop with their rewards credentials in Rutter’s stores, the more money that charity will receive to fund their cause. All purchases including food, fuel, snacks, etc., count toward supporting the charitable group’s campaign.
Rutter’s Rewards Schools will help school-sponsored clubs, programs and teams meet their fundraising goals. The organizations can apply online and once approved to participate, will have 90 days to earn the donation amount they’ve requested. Group members, as well as their friends, families and neighbors, can register their Rutter’s Rewards cards and choose to support the group by selecting it from the list of participating organizations on Rutter’s website or using the Rutter’s mobile app. Supporting members then show their support for the school or group by swiping their card or using the VIP Club credentials when making a purchase.
Speedway, headquartered in Enon, Ohio, is partnering with Nicklaus Cos. — the company that introduced premium golf balls designed, tested and perfected under the direct supervision of Jack Nicklaus — to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Funds will be raised through the sale of Nicklaus Golf Balls at participating convenience stores from May through July.
Sleeves of the popular Nicklaus "Blue" model ($6) will be displayed at the checkout of participating Speedway locations. One dollar from each purchase will be donated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Speedway is the largest contributor to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the convenience store industry. Since 1991, it has contributed more than $68 million.
Stripes Convenience Stores
Stripes, based in Corpus Christi, Texas, and operating more than 675 stores, raised more than $1.4 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals during the Stripes Convenience Stores 11th annual Miracle Balloon campaign.
Stripes store employees asked customers to “Put Their Money Where The Miracles Are” and purchase a $1 Miracle Balloon icon. Each customer donation was rewarded with a free 12-ounce Slush Monkey beverage and a buy-one-get-one free Smokin’ Barrel snack promotion.
The money raised will benefit 13 hospitals throughout Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.