NATIONAL REPORT – Multiple convenience store chains are joining in the Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral campaign in which participants are challenged to dump a bucket of ice and water over their head or donate money to the ALS Association, a nonprofit organization devoted to the research of and support of patients stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam led team members in the Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 14 at the Pilot travel center located at 8541 Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville, Tenn. Baylor Trucking Vice President Cari Baylor initially challenged the trucking industry to take part, and Pilot Flying J rechallenged the industry after accepting the challenge itself.
Cumberland Farms Inc., meanwhile, announced that it will support the cause by donating 20 cents from every bag of ice purchased to the ALS Association from Aug. 14 through Labor Day. All of the chain's nearly 600 convenience stores are participating. The company also nominated its customers to #StrikeOutALS by purchasing ice to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
"Many of our employees here at Cumberland Farms have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge, and one store employee challenged us to make a donation in his Facebook video," said Ari Haseotes, CEO of The Cumberland Gulf Group. "We have accepted his challenge and will be making a donation for each bag of ice purchased through Sept. 1. We're so proud of the way our employees and the communities we serve have come together to raise awareness and funds for this cause -– and we hope to keep the momentum going."
Stewart's Shops President Gary Dake also accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 18 and stated that he would make a personal donation on top of the chain's continuing support of ALS chapters in its local communities. Since then, employees at several Stewart's Shops locations and the Stewart's hauling department took part and recorded their own challenge videos, viewable here.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was created by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. According to the ALS Association, the challenge has prompted more than 739,200 new donors to raise $41.8 million dollars as of Aug. 21.