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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:
7-Eleven held a “Name Your Price Day” in early November to benefit Feeding America and its local food banks, according to a CBS Los Angeles report.
For one day, 100 percent of the proceeds of customers purchasing Slurpee drinks went toward the cause. Customers could select any cup, including refillable mugs, and name their price. The promotion was a reversal of its popular “7-Eleven Day,” held July 11 every year, where customers can get a free small Slurpee drink, according to the report.
CST Brands Inc.
CST Brands, based in San Antonio and parent company of Corner Store, held its second annual signature fundraising event — a 10-city 5K run series called the Corner Store Country Run. This year’s series raised a net total of $1.4 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the United States and Canada and local charities in each of the 10 race markets.
Revenue was raised from participant registrations; sponsors such as Aquafina, Coca-Cola, Valero and Dr Pepper/Snapple; and Corner Store customers who donated at the register at participating locations.
CST Chairman and CEO Kim Lubel presented a check for $750,000 to representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and an additional $450,000 is going to various children’s charities in each market. The Canada run raised $235,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montreal and other charitable causes.
“Now in its second year, we see people coming back and bringing their friends and family because they absolutely love this race,” said Lubel. “We hear from many of the participants that this is the first 5K they have completed with their children, or it was the first race they ran in 20 years. In addition to the money we raise, we know the event itself is making a difference in people’s lives. It is the perfect platform to engage our employees, our customers, our sponsors and our communities for a great cause.”
This year, Corner Store chose 16 employees to serve as Wellness Warriors for their geographic locations, equipping them with a Fitbit and a fitness coach to help them lead a healthier lifestyle, and brought all 16 Warriors from around the nation to run in the 5K.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love’s, based in Oklahoma City, wrapped up a record-setting campaign to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. After a number of bake sales, golf tournaments, cookouts, 5K runs, rummage sales and other events, employees at more than 350 stores in 40 states raised $2.5 million throughout the five-week, in-store campaign — the largest amount in Love’s 17-year history of supporting CMN Hospitals.
“We’re proud of the employees who pour their energy into the campaign,” said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love’s. “Many hundreds of store employees volunteer their time in fundraisers for five weeks, while taking care of our customers. Their dedication is essential along with the continued support of our customers, without whom we wouldn’t be able to support such a great cause at this level.”
To date, Love’s has raised more than $14 million for the nonprofit.
Parker’s Convenience Stores
The 2015 Parker’s Fueling the Community Charity Golf Tournament, held Oct. 27 at The Club at Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Ga., raised $83,597 to benefit education, health care and other important causes in coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
The tournament attracted 138 players from across the region, including a number of Parker’s vendors, suppliers and supporters. Proceeds directly benefit Georgia and South Carolina communities in areas where Parker’s operates convenience stores.
“We are deeply committed to giving back to the communities where we do business,” said Greg Parker, president and CEO of Parker’s. “Our Fueling the Community program has been a tremendous success, but this additional support will enable us to make even more generous donations in the future. We’re grateful to everyone who supported this year’s golf tournament.”
Stripes Convenience Stores
Stripes Convenience Stores, based in Corpus Christi, Texas, raised $525,000 at its eighth annual Stripes Turf + Surf fundraising event, benefiting 50 United Way agencies across its market areas: Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The fundraiser is a signature event for Stripes.
This year’s Turf + Surf fundraiser featured an appreciation dinner that offered a raffle, silent auction, bid board auction and a live auction. The festivities continued with three rounds of golf and a fishing tournament.
Since 2008, Stripes has partnered with United Way and raised more than $3 million for United Way agencies through its annual Stripes Turf + Surf fundraisers.
In other Stripes giving news, the company’s customers and team members raised more than $1.35 million for The University of Texas MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital as part of the "Stripes Celebrates Tomorrows" campaign. The campaign launched in September to commemorate Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and ran through mid-October, raising the more than $1.35 million from more than 700 store locations, surpassing its goal of $1 million.
Stripes employees asked customers to make every dollar count by purchasing a $1 paper pinup to help local kids with cancer. Each customer donation was rewarded with a free 12-ounce Slush Monkey drink and a buy-one-get-one-free Smokin' Barrel snack promotion.
In addition, external philanthropists matched all donations dollar for dollar, doubling the “Stripes Celebrates Tomorrows” donation for a final contribution of more than $2.7 million.
MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital will direct 100 percent of the donations toward research for improved cancer treatments that will help save lives everywhere. Funds will also go to MD Anderson's Pediatric Education and Creative Arts Program, one of only two privately accredited K-12 hospital schools in the nation.
Thorntons, based in Louisville, Ky., and operator of 183 stores, teamed up with Norton Healthcare Prevention & Wellness to provide a week of mammogram screenings through the Norton Healthcare Mobile Prevention Center.
The screenings were available to all women between the ages of 40 and 75 who had not had a screening within the past year. The initiative was made possible by an annual $100,000 donation from Thorntons to the Norton Cancer Institute.