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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:
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
Elementary and middle-school teachers entered CITGO’s fourth annual Fueling Education program, which focuses on the importance of engaging young students in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Through April 30, teachers in grades K-8 visited www.fuelingeducation.com and entered for a chance to win STEM-related prizes to benefit their classrooms and schools. Three grand-prize winners received an in-school training session with “America’s Science Teacher,” bestselling author and Emmy-award winning television personality Steve Spangler. The winners also received a voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply.
Upon entering the contest, all teachers received a STEM education packet with lesson plans and posters, while supplies lasted. Teachers in the 29 states where CITGO operates and the District of Columbia were eligible.
From April 27 to May 31, Savannah, Ga.-based enmarket sold paper icons in all 64 of its retail locations in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night Walk. The paper icons could be personalized with the donor’s name and purchased for $1 to be displayed on surfaces inside enmarket stores.
The retailer also held Full-Service Fridays in Savannah, Ga., Augusta, Ga., Aiken, S.C., Robins, Ga., and Rincon, Ga., to raise additional funds for LLS. Company members pumped gas, wiped windows and handed out coupons to collect donations. Local radio stations broadcasted live from each event, where hot dogs, drinks and snacks were provided and donors were entered to win enmarket cash cards and other prizes.
As part of the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2015 Educational Matching Gift Program, ExxonMobil and its employees contributed $2.6 million to higher education institutions across Pennsylvania. In 2015, a total of $700,000 in contributions were made to 66 Pennsylvania colleges and universities, which was matched with $1.9 million in grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation.
Nationwide, more than 850 institutions received $45.4 million through the 2015 Educational Matching Gift Program. The program matches donor pledges on a 3:1 ratio, up to $7,500 to qualified colleges and universities in the United States, along with the American Indian College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund.
Since the Educational Matching Gift Program began in 1962, more than $600 million has been contributed to higher learning institutions in the U.S.
Atlanta-based GreenPrint, a provider of reduced carbon emissions fuel programs, partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees across the United States’ forests.
"We are grateful to GreenPrint for becoming a steward of our nation's forests," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Our forests are part of the long and important legacy of the people and the land of our country. Thanks to GreenPrint's commitment, thousands of needed trees will be planted to help clean the air, protect water resources, and restore habitat and beauty to forests that have suffered devastation."
Since its launch in 2014, GreenPrint has offset almost 100 million pounds of CO2. The company works with a number of large convenience store retailers and refiners, including Alon/7-Eleven and Ricker's, and more than 800 corporate fleets to calculate and neutralize vehicle emissions.
Hoshizaki America Inc.
Hoshizaki America was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. The company, which has been an Energy Star partner since 2012, was honored for its long-term commitment to energy efficiency at a reception in Washington, D.C., on April 13.
The 2016 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are given to organizations in recognition of their contributions to reducing carbon pollution through superior energy efficiency efforts. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the Energy Star program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors.
For the second consecutive year, the M&M’S brand raised money and awareness for Red Nose Day with the #MakeMLaugh social media challenge. Every time someone engaged with the #MakeMLaugh hashtag, the M&M’S brand donated $1 to the Red Nose Day Fund. The brand kickstarted the effort with a $500,000 donation, with the end goal of giving $1 million.
Each day leading up to Red Nose Day on May 26, M&M’S issued a new challenge via social media in which participants were asked to share their favorite knock-knock joke, best dance moves and face swapping in an effort to make people laugh. The brand featured one fan’s participation in the challenge on their social media pages each day, triggering an extra $1,000 donation to the Red Nose Day Fund.
TravelCenters of America LLC
Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America, operator of TA and Petro Stopping Centers, is partnering with Blue Tiger USA to support the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) with donations from sales of specially designed Blue Tiger Elite headsets. Now through Dec. 31, $10 from the sale of each Elite headset — designed in the signature SCF color blue — will be donated to the fund.
TravelCenters, a long-time supporter of SCF, will donate $5 from the sale of each headset to the charity and Blue Tiger USA will contribute an additional $5. Combined donations from the campaign are expected to exceed $40,000 through the end of the year. The Blue Tiger Blue Elite headset is being offered at a promotional price of $119.99 vs. $139.99 now through June 30.