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NATIONAL REPORT — Giving back through community service efforts and charitable 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:
Aloha Petroleum Ltd.
Based in Honolulu, Aloha Petroleum Ltd. donated $66,649.64 to the Hawaii Foodbank, supporting the organization's mission to provide food so that no one goes hungry. The funds were raised during November and December through the ongoing canister collection program at statewide participating Aloha Island Mart stores.
"On behalf of Aloha Petroleum, we thank our customers for their continued generosity in supporting such worthwhile causes like hunger," said Gary Altman, general manager of company-operated stores for Aloha Petroleum. "Hunger affects about one in five island residents each year, and we are proud to be able to assist the Hawaii Foodbank to help community members in need."
Casey's General Stores
Casey's General Stores is upping the ante in February, raising its total donation goal for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to $1.2 million. The decision came after its official induction into the Miracle Million Club in 2016 upon raising $1.1 million.
During February, Casey's customers can display their name on a balloon in a store for a $1 donation, as well as receive coupons to redeem in store. Donations support training and research, help pay uncompensated care, and purchase equipment for local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals members.
"Giving back to our communities is part of our core values," said Casey's General Stores President and CEO Terry Handley. "It is hard to imagine a better cause than helping children and families going through a challenging illness or injury."
Hunt Brothers Pizza
Hunt Brothers Pizza gave back to the local Middle Tennessee chapter of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation with a $7,300 donation in honor of its 7,300 retailer locations across the United States. Funds were raised during the company's second-annual Christmas Coloring Contest, which ran from Nov. 5 through Dec. 31.
To enter the contest, customers were invited to color in the graphics on the limited-edition Hunt Brothers Pizza Christmas boxes and submit a photo of their artwork online. For each submission, Hunt Brothers pledged to make a donation to Toys for Tots. The contest gave entrants a chance to win a random drawing for a $500 prize.
Parker's Convenience Stores
Parker's convenience stores, based in Savannah, Ga., made a $5,000 Fueling the Community donation to the Liberty County School System. Director of Operations Jeff Bush presented the check to public school administrators, students and teachers at a special ceremony held at the Liberty County Pre-K Center in Hinesville, Ga.
"We are deeply honored to support educators in Liberty County," Bush said. "Giving back to the community is part of the Parker's DNA. We believe that education has the power to transform lives and to uplift communities."
The company's Fueling the Community program donates a portion of the sale of every gallon of gas on the first Wednesday of every month to area schools. Each year, Parker's donates more than $100,000 to area public and private schools through the program.
Ricker's Convenience Stores
During the Christmas season, Ricker's Convenience Stores raised more than $75,000 through counter kettle donations for Indiana's Division of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. Ricker's Founder and Chairman Jay Ricker, who doubles as Ricker's philanthropic mascot Pops the Clown, presented Salvation Army Indiana Commander Major Bob Webster with a $75,612.50 check.
"It is a high priority of Ricker's to support our community," Ricker said. "We are proud to give to an organization like The Salvation Army, who have such a strong mission to help Hoosiers in need."
This donation surpasses the $30,000 donation Ricker's made last year.
Rutter's Farm Stores
Rutter's teamed up with Support Our American Recruits (SOAR) for the 12th consecutive year to pack Valentine's Day gift boxes for local American soldiers serving overseas.
The boxes were filled with handmade Valentine cards from area school children and senior citizens and items like snacks, chewing gum, coffee and magazines donated by suppliers including: Hershey's, UTZ Snacks, Martin's Chips, Harrisburg News, S&D Coffee, Wrigley's and ConAgra Foods.
"We are proud to partner once again with such a worthy cause, and even more proud of the commitment our supplier partners and team members make to send care packages to our troops overseas," said Derek Gaskins, Rutter's chief customer officer.