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    Retailers Choose Children

    Sheetz, Mac's Convenience Stores and Reay's Ranch Investors launch programs to help local kids celebrate the holidays, prevent crime and more.

    ALTOONA, Pa. -- At Sheetz Inc.'s ninth annual Sheetz Family Christmas For the Kidz Golf Classic, professional athletes and celebrity guests -- including Marshall Faulk, Jim Kelly, Jim McMahon and Eli and Archie Manning -- will help raise funds for the company’s Sheetz Family Charities.

    The tournament, held at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, on May 20 and 21, raises money for Sheetz employees to use when buying clothing, toys and other presents for kids at Christmas. Company employees all over its six-state operating area will host holiday parties for local kids in December.

    Sheetz Family Christmas began in 1992 when employees of the convenience store chain in Blair County, Pa., raised money to help needy families during the holidays.

    "We're a company that has always been deeply rooted in our communities, especially programs that benefit youth," Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing, said in a written statement. "Every year this golf outing grows and raises more money than the last. We now have nearly 11,000 thoughtful, hard-working employees. When we team them up with the kindness of our vendors, and the generosity of our communities and friends, we are able to continue this unique tradition."

    Additional celebrity athletes attending this year include Mike Tomczak, Al Jenkins, Andy Russell, Shane Conlan, Kent Tekulve, Jim Rooker, Ken Macha, Al Hrabosky and Rick Reuschel. ESPN Sportscenter lead golf reporter Scott Van Pelt will also participate in the event.

    Last year, the Sheetz Family Charities program raised more than $350,000 and assisted more than 3,800 needy children in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. To date, Sheetz employees have raised more than $4.3 million for Sheetz Family Charities and helped more than 36,000 children.

    In other news, Mac's Convenience Stores has taken a proactive approach towards crime prevention. Through its community relations program called Operation Freeze, crime will be reduced while enhancing relations at Mac's stores, the local police and youth.

    As part of the program, Mac's will provide 10,000 Froster coupons to police across Ontario to "ticket" young citizens throughout the school year and the summer months when they are observed doing random acts of kindness or exhibiting positive behavior. The "ticket" is a coupon for a free 710-milliliter Froster beverage redeemable at all participating Mac's stores.

    "These coupons will be excellent tools for police officers who are patrolling our communities," Sean Sportun, manager of loss prevention and security for Mac's and vice chairman of Toronto Crime Stoppers, said in a written statement. "It's an icebreaker, a way to initiate communication in a non-threatening, non law-enforcement setting."

    Good behavior that will solicit coupons include wearing bicycle helmets, doing good deeds, participating in community activities, picking up trash, deterring crime or observing school crossing rules. In addition, officers can also use the coupons as icebreakers to establish a rapport with kids in their patrol area.

    In other news, Reay's Ranch Investors finished its annual fundraising drive by presenting a check for $60,038 to the Arizona's Children Association, more than doubling the contribution from the previous year.

    The program was conducted through Reay's Ranch Minit Market, Super Stop and Gordon's IGA Markets in the region. Retailers participated by selling flower placards for a $1 donation. Every dollar generated through the fundraiser goes directly to Arizona's Children Association programs and services in the community where it was donated.

    "Reay's Ranch Investors understands that caring, sharing and giving back makes strong vibrant communities where we live and work all over Arizona," Richard Couch, COO and general manager of Reay's Ranch Investors, said in a written statement. "We are proud to have raised critical dollars throughout southern Arizona to help Arizona's Children Association deliver programs and services to children and their families."

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