Community Service Spotlight: Gate Petroleum, MFA Oil, Parker's & Shell

Efforts focus on healthcare workers, community advancement, and services for women.

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:

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

CITGO held its 35th annual Corporate Golf Challenge benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, where it raised more than $700,000 for families living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases that severely weaken muscle strength and mobility.

In 2021, the CITGO-MDA golf tournament in Corpus Christi, Texas, set a new fundraising record, raising more than $314,000. CITGO marketers and retailers also raised more than $1 million through Shamrocks Against Dystrophy mobile sales and golf tournaments last year.

Since 1986, CITGO has raised more than $255 million through annual fundraising campaigns that support MDA's research grants and Care Center network at the nation's top medical institutions nationwide. 

"For more than three decades, these events have proven to be some of the most productive ways to raise vital funds for MDA," said CITGO President and CEO Carlos Jordá. "It's a testament to the generosity of our business partners and communities combined with the strength of our longstanding partnership with MDA."

Additionally, to show its appreciation for the efforts of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, CITGO provided 5,000 meals to healthcare workers at Ben Taub Hospital in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Harris Health System. The meals will be served over several days, starting Nov.18 through early 2022.

During the opening event, CITGO delivered more than 500 notes of appreciation prepared by Alief Independent School District elementary school students and CITGO employees.

"The COVID-19 pandemic provided a shining example of the courage, compassion, dedication and professionalism of our healthcare workers," Jordá said. "They stepped up and saved lives during an unprecedented public health crisis where their own lives were at risk. Our healthcare workers are real-life superheroes."

Houston-based CITGO is the fifth-largest and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States.

Gate Petroleum Co.

The Gate Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Gate Petroleum Co., presented the American Cancer Society (ACS) with a $65,000 donation to support breast cancer research and awareness.

Funds were raised in Gate stores across Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina as part of the operator's pink ribbon paper icon campaign. From Oct. 1–21, customers had the opportunity to donate $1 and sign their name on a pink ribbon paper icon that was displayed in the store. They could also choose to round their purchase to the nearest dollar, donating the difference to ACS.

"Gate Stores have hosted the pink ribbon paper icon campaign for 11 years now," said Kathy Brady, executive director of the Gate Foundation. "In that time, our customers have surpassed $1 million in donations to the American Cancer Society and the fight against breast cancer. There is so much enthusiasm and support for this campaign amongst our customers and employees, and it is an honor to partner with ACS."

In addition to the creative displays of pink ribbons in Gate stores, employees wore pink ACS t-shirts to promote the fundraising efforts. Stores also featured signage and ACS mission information to educate customers.

Gate Petroleum is a heavily-diversified company operating in a variety of industries, including retail convenience stores, car washes, fleet and fuel services, real estate, hospitality and construction materials.


For the ninth consecutive year, Enmarket continued its partnership with the Georgia-South Carolina Region of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Light The Night campaign. The 2021 campaign in September raised more than $125,000 to help in the fight against blood cancers.

Enmarket 2021 Light The Night donation

Enmarket launched its company-wide initiative in September across Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina by encouraging its customers to donate at check-out to benefit LLS.

"Over the past nine years, Enmarket's customers have joined with us in raising nearly $900,000 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during this campaign," said Enmarket President Brett Giesick. "Next year, when we support Light the Night for the tenth year, our goal is to cross the million-dollar mark."

The funds raised through Light The Night are used for:

  • Research to advance lifesaving therapies like immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine;
  • Free blood cancer information, education and support for patients and families; and
  • National and local advocacy efforts to drive policies that accelerate new treatments and ensure patients have access to care so that they can live longer and healthier lives.

Savannah, Ga.-based Enmarket operates 129 convenience stores, 14 quick-serve restaurants and two fast casual restaurants in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

MFA Oil Co.

The MFA Oil Foundation awarded a grant to the Little Dixie Regional Libraries Paris branch to assist with purchasing percussion play instruments.

"The grants the Foundation awards help support many youth programs and organizations active in addressing and solving community programs and improving the quality of life," said MFA Oil Senior Director of Employee Engagement and Culture Tom May.

The MFA Oil foundation provides support to nonprofit organizations that are working to improve communities where MFA Oil has a significant concentration of members and employees. Since it was established in 1998, the foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants.

MFA Oil Co. is a farmer-owned cooperative with more than 40,000 members. It is the eighth largest propane retailer in the United States. The company supplies fuels, lubricants, and propane to customers in Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Through a subsidiary, MFA Oil operates Break Time convenience stores in Missouri and Big O Tires franchises in Arkansas and Missouri.


Parker's and Union Mission unveiled plans for the new Parker's House: A Home for Women, which will be Savannah, Ga., and coastal Georgia's only facility solely dedicated to providing emergency housing and comprehensive services for unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness. Parker's House is expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.

Parker's House logo

Located at 125 Fahm St. in Savannah, the 10,590-square-foot facility will offer emergency housing, on-site case workers, a residential assistant and support services for up to 32 women for 90 days. Parker's House also includes a common kitchen, living room, dining room, computer room and laundry room.

To support Parker's House, the c-store retailer made a $250,000 donation to Union Mission from the Parker's Community Fund.

"The Parker's House is going to be a major game-changer, providing a safe space for women experiencing homelessness in Savannah," said Parker's founder and CEO Greg Parker. "It's truly an honor for the Parker's Community Fund to support Union Mission and to help meet an urgent need to provide emergency housing and services for women in need in our community."

Pilot Co.

In honor of Veterans Day, Pilot Co. and its guests raised a record-breaking $1.75 million through a three-week in-store round-up campaign to benefit the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit organization committed to placing veterans into high-quality jobs after their service.

This amount more than triples the original 2021 goal of $500,000 and will support more than 3,000 service members in their search for employment.

"We're proud to support military service members and their families every day with a year-round discount at our stores," said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Co. "For Veterans Day, it was important that we do something special to not only thank veterans, but also support them. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests and the hard work of our team members to raise this record-setting amount for the Call of Duty Endowment that will help thousands of veterans find their next career."

From Oct. 25 through Nov. 15, guests were invited to join the cause by rounding-up their change at the company's more than 750 participating U.S. travel centers, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the endowment. Pilot Co. matched $100,000 of the donations.

As a part of its giving-back commitment, Pilot Co. has partnered with the endowment since 2019 to support the nonprofit's goal to help 100,000 Veterans secure post-service employment by 2024.

Additionally, Pilot Co. joined local elected officials to honor 17-year-old Jada Tweed for her bravery and quick thinking when her car caught fire at a Pilot Travel Center in Greeneville, Tenn. Tweed, a high school senior, was pumping gas in October when a fire flared up. She quickly moved to evacuate her younger siblings from the car and calmly alerted the store team members so that the gas pump could be turned off.

Pilot Co. Senior Manager of Giving and Events Meg Counts and General Manager Sheila Whitaker attended the assembly in Tweed’s honor at North Greene High School to share some surprises from the company and thank Tweed for how she responded in an emergency.

The travel center operator presented Tweed with free fuel for a year with a $1,500 Pilot Flying J gift card. The company also arranged for Harper Auto Square in Knoxville, Tenn., to replace Tweed's car, presenting her the keys to a 2004 Toyota 4Runner at the event.

"There is no doubt that Jada's calm, quick action saved lives," Counts said. "We were impressed by her ability to think on her feet under what must have been a very stressful situation. It was our privilege to be part of the assembly at her school to recognize her bravery."


Rutter's donated $410,000 to benefit the education of children in the community through the Pennsylvania EITC program. Some of 29 organizations receiving contributions include:

Rutter's Children's Charities donation
  • $25,000 to York Day Nursery and Kindergarten
  • $20,000 each to Opportunity House, Montessori Academy of Chambersburg and United Way of Mifflin-Juniata
  • $15,000 to DreamWrights Youth & Family Theater
  • $10,000 to Creative York
  • $5,000 each to The York Suburban Education Foundation and Schuylkill YMCA

"Supporting local children's organizations is something we're always eager to do at Rutter's," said Rutter's Director of Advertising Chris Hartman. "We recognize the importance of providing local charitable organizations with funding to benefit the education of children in our communities and look forward to doing more in 2022."

Additionally, Rutter's Children's Charities donated $20,000 to For the Love of a Veteran in honor of Veteran's Day on Nov. 11. For the Love of a Veteran is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for troops who are deployed as well as homeless veterans.

"We're very appreciative of all those who selflessly serve our country each and every day," Hartman commented. "It was an easy decision to support For the Love of a Veteran because of the amazing work they do for any veteran in need of assistance, throughout our communities." 

Rutter's operates 79 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.

Shell Oil Co.

Shell Oil raised $1.5 million for a variety of children-focused charities across the country, including literacy programs, schools, hospitals, youth food pantries and more, at the conclusion of its The Giving Pump program.

Launched Aug. 1 and running through Sept. 30, a portion of purchases made by consumers who used The Giving Pump at more than 2,900 Shell stations supported children's nonprofits. In the U.S., the designated pumps were used 7.2 million times and pumped 72 million gallons of gas.

The Giving Pump is a part of Shell Oil's Force For Good initiative to drive positive change in local communities by giving back.

Shell Oil Co. is an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the United States, Shell operates more than 14,000 Shell-branded stations across 50 states.

Sparkling Ice

In conjunction with Sparkling Ice, the community of Port Arthur, Texas, unveiled a brand-new refurbished basketball court as part of the company's Cheers to You Beautification Project.

Sparkling Ice Port Arthur basketball court

The new court features a fresh overlay of the existing court, all-new equipment with new hoops and rims with surrounding swings, picnic tables and benches for the surrounding area. The swings, picnic tables and benches will be installed this year.

The event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony; welcome speeches from Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bill Bartie, former NFL player and Port Arthur native Jordan Babineaux; and attendance by fellow board members and city officials. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there was a basketball tournament featuring eight teams to break in the new court.

The unveiling also featured large inflatables, face painting, balloon twisting, a DJ, snow cones and Southern-style food for families to enjoy and celebrate the opening of the new park.

TravelCenters of America Inc.

TravelCenters of America (TA) and Mobil Delvac teamed up to donate $50,000 to Folds of Honor, an organization providing educational scholarships to the spouses and children of America's fallen and disabled service members.

This is the fifth year in a row that TA and Mobil Delvac heavy-duty diesel engine oil have come together to support Folds of Honor and pay tribute to fallen service members. To date, the companies together have donated a total of $250,000 to the organization.

"As a nearly 50-year-old American company, we are proud to support U.S. veterans and active-duty military," said Jon Pertchik, CEO of TA. "On this Veterans Day, we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and are pleased this donation will provide educational support for the families of those who have fallen."

Westlake, Ohio-based TA operates more than 275 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands.