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WARREN, Ill. -- Donald Saunders of Warren, Ill.-based Saunders Oil, was awarded the 2010 William R. Deutsch Bucketeer Award for 50 years of service in the petroleum industry by the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMA) at the IPMA Membership Meeting April 30.
"It is because of men like Donald Saunders that the Bucketeer Award was created -- men who don't work because they want recognition, but because they appreciate the feeling of creating something from the ground up," Mark Bayley, president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association/Illinois Association of Convenience Stores, said in a statement. "We are honored to present Donald with this award for his half century of supporting and growing the Illinois petroleum industry."
Saunders began his career in 1956 as the parts foreman and shop manager at Warren Auto Co., a Ford dealership in Warren. He later became a commissioned agent for DX Oil and founded Saunders Oil Co. Inc. in 1970. The company became a CITGO marketer in 1998.
"CITGO is proud to partner with men like Donald, who symbolize the old fashioned values of hard work and customer service," Alan Flagg, general manager, light oils marketing for CITGO, said in a statement congratulating Saunders. "Saunders Oil is a great example of a family-owned business focused on supporting its friends and neighbors at every turn."
Today, Donald's son Brian, daughter-in-law Karlene and grandsons Luke and Jeremy help run Saunders Oil, which now employs more than 70 people servicing five convenience stores, two bulk delivery trucks, bulk and packaged oil and two transport trucks.
"I know my father is humble and will say he doesn't deserve this award," said Brian Saunders, president of Saunders Oil. "However, I've seen the heart and soul that he has put into running this business and supporting our community. I grew up with it and it's amazing to watch the seeds he planted 50 years ago continue to grow."
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