Community Service Spotlight
NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charity donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News will highlight these philanthropic efforts in this special section. Here are the latest company spotlights:
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Gulf Oil is bringing its support for breast cancer research and awareness to a national level through a new collaboration with the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative.
The Gulf Oil Giving Foundation will raise funds for the American Cancer Society through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks throughout its 29-state service area. In addition to continuing its ongoing participation in the Boston and Providence Making Strides walks, Gulf will be working with its dealers and distributors to join walks throughout the country.
Gulf has also just launched its "Text HOPE" matching donation campaign, where anyone can text the word "HOPE" to 20222 to automatically donate $5 to the American Cancer Society -- along with a Gulf match for the first 1,000 donations.
The Pantry/Kangaroo Express
The Wake County (North Carolina) Public School System received a donation totaling $10,000 from The Pantry, Inc., and BP's Fueling Communities program. The Pantry operates its Wake County stores under the Kangaroo Express banner. The donation provided $1,000 to 10 schools in the district.
To celebrate the donation, Kangaroo Express and BP invited students and parents from the 10 WCPSS schools to a BP Olympic Experience. The event featured Olympic-themed games and activities, student performances, entertainment, food from Subway and Ballpark and a special appearance by Olympic runner and North Carolina native Manteo Mitchell.
This is the second consecutive year that BP and Kangaroo Express have donated $10,000 to WCPSS schools.
Kum & Go
Through the new "Drink good. Do good." campaign at Kum & Go convenience stores in Missouri and 10 other states, every hot beverage purchase this fall will help buy toys and books for underprivileged children during the holidays. Kum & Go has committed to a minimum contribution of $100,000.
From now through Dec. 7, Kum & Go will donate 5 cents for every hot beverage purchased. In addition, Kum & Go will donate $1 (up to $10,000) each time a customer "checks in" to a Kum & Go store through the free social app, foursquare.
Customers can make additional monetary donations to Toys for Tots at Kum & Go stores, which will also serve as toy collection sites during the holiday season.
During the "Drink Good. Do Good." campaign, Kum & Go fans will enjoy weekly giveaways on Twitter, toy trivia on Facebook and donation updates at www.kumandgo.com/toysfortots.
Thorntons has pledged an additional $1 million donation to 21st Century Parks, earmarked for The Parklands of Floyds Fork project in Louisville, Ky.
21st Century Parks is the Louisville nonprofit organization responsible for fundraising, land acquisition, construction, operations and long‐term maintenance of The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a nearly 4,000‐acre public parks system under development along the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville.
In 2010, Thorntons Inc. donated its first $1 million to the project.
Cumberland Farms is now accepting applications from ambitious high school seniors across its service area for the company's Believe and Achieve Scholarship Program. Since Cumberland Farms began the program six years ago, it has awarded close to $800,000 through the Believe and Achieve Scholarship program to hundreds of college-bound high school students.
As part of the company's commitment to nurturing the futures of young people, the program provides $1,000 scholarships to eligible graduating high school seniors across its service area. Last year, Cumberland Farms awarded $130,000 in Believe and Achieve Scholarships to 130 students in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Vermont. Thanks to the help provided by their scholarships, students were able to attend a wide cross-section of institutions, including Harvard, Villanova, New York University, the University of Massachusetts, Columbia University, Princeton, Stanford, Brown and more.
The program is open to students entering a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited college, university or vocational-technical school in the fall of 2013 who live within 30 miles of any Cumberland Farms outlet. Scholarships will be awarded based on a student's academic performance, as well as the student's financial need. Winners will be notified in the spring of 2013.
NOCO will donate $45,000 to the Buffalo, (N.Y.), Zoo as part of a three-year commitment in support of the Sea Lion Cove, an exhibit NOCO has supoprted since 2005. The Sea Lion Cove is home of the Zoo's California sea lions, Dallas and Pocus. Dallas and Pocus live in a 150,000 gallon saltwater tank and are Buffalo's only resident sea lions.
In addition, Donald Newman, family patriarch and former NOCO president, donates annually to the Buffalo Zoo and has contributed significantly to the new polar bear exhibit currently under construction.
For over 10 years, NOCO and the Newman family have been supporters of the Buffalo Zoo, with more than $200,000 in donations. In addition to the Sea Lion Cove, NOCO has previously sponsored the Zoo's playground and bison yard.
Pilot Flying J
Nearly 70 elected officials and media personalities helped Pilot support the United Way of Greater Knoxville (Tenn.) during the annual Pilot Celebrity Pumpers event. These "celebrities" pumped gas for customers Oct. 1-3.
During the three-day event, Pilot donated to the United Way of Greater Knoxville 5 cents for every gallon of gasoline sold and 10 cents for every dollar of in-store sales at all Knox County locations.
Pilot Celebrity Pumpers is the single largest special event fundraiser for the United Way of Greater Knoxville's annual campaign. The 2011 event raised $63,500.
Celebrity pumpers this year include Pilot Flying J NASCAR driver Michael Annett, University of Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart, U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Davis Tarwater, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, along with a host of other state and local officials and local television and radio personalities.
In other company news, Pilot Flying J has pledged to raise $100,000 to honor fallen heroes by supporting Wreaths Across America (WAA).
WAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December at Arlington National Cemetery and nearly 800 additional veteran cemeteries and memorials across the country and overseas.
Pilot Flying J is asking professional drivers to join in its "Cup with a Cause" campaign in October-November to support WAA. For $4.99, drivers can purchase a special limited-edition travel mug from any Pilot Travel Center or Flying J Travel Plaza across the U.S. With every mug purchase, $3 will be donated to WAA.
TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), operator of TA and Petro Stopping Centers branded travel centers, made its largest-ever donation -- $278,207.09 -- to St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF). The donation monies were given by TA and Petro customers and employees during TravelCenters' third annual "Band Together for SCF" campaign, as well as during summer events, including the TA Walcott Truckers Jamboree, Expedite Expo and Great American Trucking show.
SCF is a non-profit organization that benefits truck drivers suffering from financial hardship due to medical problems. The 2012 "Band Together for SCF" campaign ran from Aug. 15 - Sept. 15 at all TA and Petro locations. Drivers were asked to give $1 to help their fellow drivers in need and in turn received a commemorative wristband. For the first year in the campaign's three-year history, wristbands sold out.
Phillips 66 and the USA Swimming Foundation brought four-time Olympic medalist Cullen Jones to Chicago to educate kids, parents and community leaders about the life-saving message of learn-to-swim.
An Olympic gold and silver medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games, Jones' visit in August was part of the 2012 Make a Splash with Cullen Jones Tour, presented by Phillips 66. The six-city national water safety tour teaches parents, kids and community leaders about the importance of learning to swim with the goal of reducing the number of U.S. drownings, particularly among minority youth.