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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:

Marathon Petroleum Corporation
Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross to provide disaster relief in communities that are recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

MPC will also donate more than 119,000 MREs (meals-ready-to-eat) to Feeding America, which will distribute the food to victims in the affected region.

Sheetz Convenience Restaurants have teamed up with Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) to help veterans of those wars transition as they return home from service. The partnership will focus on raising awareness for IAVA, fundraising and job recruitment tools.

Dog tag car magnets are being sold in all 430 Sheetz locations for $1 and will be available through November 30. Proceeds will go directly to IAVA to fund its programs.

National Confectioners Association
Rockaway Beach is home to one of NCA's long-standing and valued members, Madelaine Chocolate. Knowing the severity of the situation on Rockaway Peninsula, a peninsula of Long Island in the New York City borough of Queens that was majorly struck by Hurricane Sandy, several National Confectioners Association (NCA) members reached out to the Association asking what they can do to help this special community.

As a result, NCA's Confectionery Foundation has established the Rockaway Disaster Relief Fund to help aid in the recovery of the community. Jorge Farber, president and CEO of Madelaine, has agreed to serve as the executor of the Fund.

All donations to the fund will be accepted through November 14.

Orion Food Systems
Orion Food Systems recently responded to a special request it received from an American Soldier deployed to Afghanistan.

According to Kim Hauschildt, Orion's manager of international and government business activities, Specialist Nathan Barshinger previously frequented the AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service) Shoppette at Camp McGregor, Fort Bliss, Texas, where he regularly purchased Orion's Lettieri's brand items. After Specialist Barshinger and fellow soldiers from the 352nd Military Police Company were deployed to Afghanistan, he asked via Orion's online comment card, if he could get the food items at his new post.

Orion was honored to fill the request -- Hauschildt reported that Orion shipped pizzas, calzones, Philly Steak Stuffed Baguettes, BBQ Beef Stuffed Baguettes, and cheeseburgers from Orion's Shakopee, Minn., plant via FedEx to JFK Airport in New York, packed in a thousand pounds of dry ice.

The Orion/Lettieri's products were sent to Heathrow Airport, London, and then shipped to Dubai in the Middle East -- which made the pizza delivery to Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan.  Orion also sent promotional items including T-shirts, and banners in advance.

Quick Chek
Once the majority of Quick Chek stores reopened after Hurricane Sandy, it began a campaign to raise money for those in need. It asked customers to "join us as we collect donations in all stores for Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie 's Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund" at

Quick Chek is requesting that customers to help by adding $1 to $5 to their purchases to aid the effort.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, BP partnered with Trees For Houston and the Energy Corridor District (Tex.) to plant 40 trees along the city's Memorial Brook Boulevard in the Energy Corridor.

BP volunteers planted 5- and 15-gallon mixed native trees throughout the esplanade, which recently underwent construction. The Energy Corridor District has already installed irrigation in the esplanade to ensure survival of the trees.

The trees are reportedly providing an important aesthetic enhancement, add desperately needed shade and its corresponding cooling component, and reduce the urban heat effect.

The Bike MS: Valero 2012 Alamo Ride to the River recently raised more than $968,550 in Texas to aid in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

The Lone Star chapter of the National MS Society annually organizes the ride, one of the largest events of its kind in North America. In 2009, the group changed the course from biking to the coast to instead cycling through Central Texas. The ride is a 155-mile journey from San Antonio to New Braunfels that spans two days and begins and ends at AT&T Center.

Last year, the event raised more than $1 million for multiple sclerosis, and this year hopes to reach $1.2 million by November 14. The race helped it reached about 81 percent of its goal as of press time. In other company news, Valero recently presented a check for $76,556 to the Corpus Christi Police Athletic League, or CC-PAL. The funds came from the second annual Valero/CC-PAL Dove Hunt, which took place in early October at the Lonesome Dove Ranch.

CC-PAL is an organization that helps at-risk youth through athletic programs. They help more than 2,000 children a year, and operate solely on donations.

Kangaroo Express
The Pantry, Inc. recently announced its summer-long Kangaroo Express "Salute Our Troops" fundraising campaign raised $954,000 for Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), helping to fulfill its mission of honoring and empowering Wounded Warriors.

The donation is nearly double the $584,000 Kangaroo Express raised for WWP during its inaugural 2011 Salute Our Troops campaign. In its second year, the campaign raised $3.17 million total for military support organizations, surpassing the total number of funds raised during the inaugural 2011 campaign.

From Independence Day through Labor Day, Kangaroo Express invited store guests to make donations to the campaign and empower communities to shine a spotlight of praise and gratitude on the military. Through its more than 1,500 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states, customers and communities enthusiastically demonstrated united support for military personnel and their families.

The Hershey Co.
The Hershey Co. contributed $50,000 to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund prior to Hurricane Sandy so that resources could be immediately put to use.

Hershey also donated product to a Red Cross shelter in Somerset, N.J., on November 3. Red Cross shelters in this community are helping hundreds of families recover from Hurricane Sandy. Ten pallets of Hershey candy items were delivered with the intent to help bring smiles to families in the area.

In addition, for the weekend of November 3-4, Hershey's Chocolate World donated $5 from every "Create Your Own Candy Bar" purchase to the American Red Cross.

Additionally, Hershey is partnering with the Derry Township Police Department to gather relief supplies to Hurricane Sandy victims in the Howard Beach section of Queens, N.Y., as well as other locations to be determined based on the amount of supplies collected.

Hershey and its logistics partner, CR England, have also donated a trailer and the transportation to bring the needed supplies to those impacted by the storm. Hershey employees and members of the Hershey community are supporting the effort by donating:

  • Bottled drinking water
  • Blankets
  • Food (not requiring electricity for preparation)
  • Bar soap, roothpaste, tooth brushes, wash cloths and towels
  • Two-inch packing tape
  • Cardboard boxes -- 20" inches x 12 inches x 10 inches
  • Personal insect repellent -- 6 to 14 ounces
  • Laundry detergent -- 25- or 50-ounce bottles
  • Liquid household cleaner -- 12- to 16-ounce bottles
  • Scrubbing brushes, buckets
  • Dish soap, air freshener
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