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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 will highlight these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights, highlighting initiatives supporting children's charities:
Englefield Oil Co.
Ohio-based Englefield Oil Co.'s Duchess stores raised more than $50,000 for cancer research at The Ohio State Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
During a month-long campaign from Oct. 5 through Nov. 5, Duchess stores raised $50,924.46. During that time, the c-store retailer provided customers who donated with a gift based on their donation amount. Customers were also encouraged to buy a co-branded travel mug, which provided a donation to the fundraiser and free coffee refills during the run of the fundraiser.
This is the first time Duchess has partnered with Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in an effort to raise cancer research money.
Savannah, Ga.-based enmarket has partnered with The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to launch a month-long customer donation campaign at all 60 of the c-store retailer’s locations in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Throughout January, enmarket customers can add a $1-donation at checkout to support PHA's mission to ensure all children grow up at a healthy weight.
Since partnering with PHA in May 2016, enmarket has increased the number of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and nonfat dairy available in its stores. It also works to provide healthier options for grab and go items, and makes sure healthier options remain affordable.
The c-store chain also donated $5,000 to four area nonprofit organizations during its 2016 Encourage Health Educational Series, including: The Coastal Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America, Savannah AMBUCS, Savannah Tree Foundation and Urban Hope Inc.
Enmarket established the Encourage Health Series in conjunction with other local sponsors to further its commitment to help people live healthier lives. A series of four lectures are given throughout the year over the past three years, in which the company presents $1,000 grants at each.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
In 2016, Love's wrapped up a year of record contributions to its partner charity, Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Through its annual companywide store campaign, corporate golf tournaments, inaugural corporate campaign and other promotions, Love's raised more than $3.64 million for the nonprofit. Since beginning its partnership in 1998, Love's has raised $17.5 million for CMN Hospitals.
Among the ways in which Love's supported CMN Hospitals in 2016 included: a $200,000-donation to support Dance Marathon organizations; raising $2.53 million during the 18th annual store campaign; a donation of $170,000 from a corporate office campaign and golf tournament; $290,000 raised through an annual golf tournament from Musket, Love's trading and logistics company; and donating two days' worth of coffee sales in honor of National Coffee Day.
"Our store campaign is the heart of our fundraising efforts, but our employees' dedication to raising money for life-saving treatments caused us to consider how we can grow our support for CMN Hospitals," said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love's. "We introduced a campaign at the corporate office and we supported CMN Hospitals Dance Marathon program for the first time this year."
Throughout September and October, drivers filling up with clean-burning E15/Unleaded Plus during Minnoco’s "Pink Out" promotion raised $15,000 for Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. During the month-long campaign, pink nozzle hand guards and splash guards at pumps helped identify the fuel eligible for the promotion. 2016 marked the campaign's second year, during which 22 locally owned Minnoco gas stations around the Twin Cities of Minnesota participated by donating 2 cents from the sale of every gallon of E15/Unleaded Plus.
Minnoco raised $13,000 for Hope Chest during last year's promotion.
"The Pink Out promotion is a great way for us to give back to the community and donate to an important cause while introducing people to high-performing, cleaner burning ethanol blends like E15/Unleaded Plus," said Lance Klatt, executive director of Minnoco. "The program allowed retailers to join forces with a worthy cause to focus awareness on breast cancer and cleaner-burning E15. E15 is a great fuel option for anyone concerned about making healthier choices because ethanol-blended fuels, like E15, reduce cancer-causing chemicals in gasoline."
Just like Santa and his elves were busy the week before Christmas, so was NOCO Express. The Tonawanda, N.Y.-based convenience store chain collected nonperishable items the week before Christmas at all 36 locations to donate to St. Luke's Mission of Mercy in Buffalo, N.Y. Both customers and employees donated enough to fill an entire truckload with food and non-perishable products.
Rutter’s Farm Stores
York, Pa.-headquartered Rutter's donated $810,000 to Central Pennsylvania charities during 2016, raising the company’s charitable giving total to more than $6 million in the past decade.
Some of the ways Rutter's gave in 2016 include raising $357,000 in children’s education organizations donations; $224,000 for creative arts organizations; $107,000 to additional organizations contributions; and $75,000 toward Vote With Your Dollars. Additionally, through random acts of kindness, Rutter's employees gave $1,000 to 23 organizations of their choosing, and $21,000 during six grand store openings.
"This has been a huge year for Rutter's. We opened six new stores and we gave a record number of donations to various organizations in the communities we serve," said Scott Hartman, Rutter's CEO and president. "We love financially supporting charities, and organizations that make a difference in the lives of children and customers throughout our region. We look forward to continuing to grow and give back to our communities for generations to come."
Sunoco LP customers, team members and supplier partners teamed up with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to raise more than $2 million in cancer research, education, prevention, and hospital programs. The $2,027,704-donation is the highest total to date, the company stated.
On Sept. 7, Sunoco kicked Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with its annual retail campaign, "Stripes Stores Celebrates Tomorrows." From Sept. 7 through Oct. 4, Stripes' in-store campaign accepted $1 at a time in its 750 locations in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The campaign ended with Sunoco's Boots n' Birdies fundraising dinner and golf tournament.
Every dollar raised was matched by donors, resulting in more than $4 million donated to MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital and other youth-focused preventive programs.