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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:

7-Eleven Inc.

To make sure the kids at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland receive a toy this holiday season, approximately 110 7-Eleven stores in the greater Portland area collected new, unwrapped toys and games in their first-ever "Give a Smile to a Child" toy drive.

Each person who donated received a collection of coupons for free 7-Eleven items such as glazed doughnuts, Big Bite hot dogs, Go-Go Taquitos, coffee, and Big Gulp and Slurpee drinks.

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Five CITGO marketers in Milwaukee are teaming up to make 73 CITGO locations throughout southeastern Wisconsin collection points for this year's Toys for Tots program. Through Dec. 18, Lakeside Oil Co., Condon Oil Co., Garrow Oil & Propane, Kaul Oil, Prairie State and U.S. Oil will help collect new, unwrapped toys at CITGO locations across five counties to help make this holiday season special for local families.

The annual fundraiser is being driven by a partnership formed between southeastern Wisconsin CITGO marketers and retailers, local Wisconsin radio station 106.1 FM and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. With the highest level of participation in their nine-year history of fundraising, Wisconsin CITGO retailers hope to collect more toys this year than ever before.

Cumberland Farms Inc.

From Oct. 1 through Dec. 15, Cumberland Farms accepted applications for its Believe and Achieve Scholarship Program, which helps bright young adults achieve their dreams of attending college. Since Cumberland Farms began the program six years ago, the company has awarded close to $800,000 in Believe and Achieve Scholarships to hundreds of college-bound high school students.

As part of the company's commitment to nurturing the future of young people, the program provides $1,000 scholarships to eligible graduating high school seniors across its service area. This year, Cumberland Farms will award $130,000 in Believe and Achieve Scholarships to 130 students in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Kwik Shop

In late November, Kwik Shop presented a check for $7070.60 to the Lydia Home in Iowa, which provides solutions to families in crisis, help for the hurting and a home for abused children. Ten Kwik Shop stores in the Davenport, Iowa, area conducted a donation drive throughout the month of September for the Lydia Home whereby customers were asked to donate a dollar to the local charity.

Little General Stores Inc.

On Friday, Dec. 21, Little General will donate a penny for every gallon of gas sold in each store throughout the entire company to Toys for Tots.

The Parker Cos.

Parker’s recently donated $10,000 in gas cards to Memorial Health Foundation in Savannah, Ga., to help defray the cost for patients and their families to travel to Memorial University Medical Center for chemotherapy, radiation treatment and neonatal care. The gas card donation is part of the company’s Fueling the Community program, which also supports area schools.

VP Racing Fuels Inc.

VP Racing Fuels’ donations to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, in conjunction with sales of its pink VP Motorsport Containers, have reached $2,695. This amount is in addition to an auction bid of $2,000 given to the foundation last month for a pink container autographed by three top NHRA drag racing drivers.

VP Racing will be making the pink containers available as a regular stock item, and donations to the foundation will continue with each sale. “Our original intent was to offer the pink containers as a ‘Special Edition’ only during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but due to their popularity, we decided to extend production to generate additional contributions,” said Alan Cerwick, president of VP Racing Fuels. “Going forward, we’ll donate $2.50 to the Prevent Cancer Foundation with each sale of a pink container, while during each Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ll double that to $5 per container as we did this year.”

Wawa Inc.

With Orlando being Wawa’s newest home and a new store on the University of Central Florida (UCF) campus underway, students from UCF’s student government approached Wawa in an effort to help bring Hurricane Sandy relief back to Wawa’s New Jersey stomping grounds. Under the direction of Tyler M. Neher, a UCF student who organized and led the relief effort, dozens of UCF students and a handful of Wawa associates collected 1,726 essential items during the student campaign, which ran Nov. 1-13.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, a Wawa truck drove the items from UCF’s campus to the Manasquan, N.J. Office of Emergency Management drop-off point. Once the UCF shipment was received, volunteers began distributing the items to food banks, churches and firehouses in the affected areas of Monmouth County. The 1,726 items included Wawa snacks, as well as the UCF student donations of clothing, hygiene products, canned goods and non-perishable food items.

Wawa’s truck, powered by its wholesaler partner McLane Co., made the delivery on a return route from Orlando to New Jersey.

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