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Community Is A Companywide Value At Wallis


For the Wallis Cos. in Cuba, Mo., community service is truly a companywide effort. The 38-store convenience chain not only maintains corporate community service programs, but also encourages all of its customers and associates to support the neighborhoods in which they live and work.

Throughout the year, a team of associates from the corporate office holds various fundraisers (company lunches, Trivia Night, Poker Run, Spring Tea, silent auctions, etc.) for the American Cancer Society. This year, they raised $9,978.88 for the Crawford County Relay for Life event, held in June.

Also annually, a team of associates from both headquarters and the company's c-stores participate in the Fight for Air Climb/ Master the Met event, a vertical race to climb 40 floors to the top of the Metropolitan Square Building in downtown St. Louis. Each participant must raise at least $100 for the American Lung Association. Wallis has fielded a team every year since the event began in 2008.

At the store level, Wallis champions various causes through customer fundraising campaigns. During the months of March and April, its c-stores raise money for TouchPoint Autism Services in honor of Autism Awareness Month. In June and July, c-store employees sell raffle tickets in the stores, and associates throughout the company are urged to volunteer to sell raffle tickets during home Cardinal games at Busch Stadium to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Cardinals Care.

During September and October, store associates sell March of Dimes emblems for $1 or $5 to raise money for babies who are born prematurely or with birth defects. Then, in November and December, $1, $5 and $10 holiday stockings are sold at all its c-stores, plus the company's On the Run locations hold an “Elves on the Run” toy drive — both of which benefit the Boys & Girls Town of Missouri. So far this year, Wallis has been able to raise $32,490 for TouchPoint Autism Services — $6,411 more than what it raised in 2010 — and $20,000 for the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Cardinals Care. The company's March of Dimes goal this year is $30,000 (it raised $27,287 in 2010).

In addition to these efforts, each department/division within the company is challenged to choose a community project during the last quarter of the year. Among last year's projects:

■ The accounting department collected personal hygiene items, sent to soldiers in Afghanistan.

■ Organizational services collected food items for the local school's Friday Backpack program, which provides food for the weekends to children of underprivileged families.

■ The commissarybaked 24 dozen cookies for the Boys & Girls Town holiday celebration.

■ The Kansas City lube plant collected items to support Harvesters' “Give a Lunch” program, and packed 150 lunch sacks that were used for the organization's youth programs.

■ The Olivette, Mo., store worked together to help a regular customer who had fallen on hard times.

Linda Lisanti

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