Community Service Spotlight: Aloha, Nice N Easy & Tesoro

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 highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section. 

Here are the latest company spotlights:

Aloha Petroleum Ltd.

Aloha Petroleum recently donated $3,821.50 to Aloha Harvest to support the organization’s efforts to feed the hungry in Hawaii. The company matched the funds raised through its canister collection program at statewide participating Aloha Island Mart stores in August. 
Aloha Harvest is a nonprofit organization that rescues donated food and delivers it “free of charge” to social service agencies feeding the hungry in Hawaii. 

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

CITGO, its employees and branded marketers raised more than $13.6 million during the past year to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease. These funds support MDA’s world-renowned research efforts, life-changing health care services and community support programs, including MDA summer camp and advocacy efforts that involve local communities.

Over almost three decades, CITGO and its nearly 6,000 locally owned retail locations have raised more than $170 million for MDA through a wide variety of fundraising events, including golf tournaments, mobile sales and socials. CITGO is MDA’s largest corporate partner. 

Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes

Nice N Easy awarded Linda Nelson Memorial Scholarships to seven upstate New York students. Each recipient received a monetary scholarship they will use toward their higher education.  

Established by late Nice N Easy president, founder and CEO John MacDougall, the scholarship program is in memory of Linda Nelson, a spirited Nice N Easy store manager who passed away in 2001, shortly after learning she had cancer. The program is designed to financially assist students that possess the same qualities Nelson found so important: the desire to learn and grow and reach seemingly unthinkable goals.

Recipients must be a current employee or the son/daughter of a current employee; be completing their senior year in high school or have earned a GED certificate and will be attending college; or they may already be enrolled in an accredited college or university. The awards are given annually to students based on their academic achievements and character attributes. 

Tesoro Corp.

Tesoro recently launched the Tesoro Foundation, which will serve as the cornerstone of the company's new community investment strategy and play a crucial role in advancing its philanthropic mission to create cleaner, safer, well-educated communities where it operates.

In addition to awarding grants, the foundation will manage Tesoro`s employee gift-matching and volunteer programs. Guided by a nine-member board of directors comprised of Tesoro employees from across the company, the foundation will primarily focus on three core areas:
•    STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
•    Public Safety
•    Environmental Conservation & Sustainability

The Tesoro Foundation may also provide limited support to community-based organizations to address local health, human and social service needs.

TravelCenters of America LLC

TravelCenters completed another record-setting annual campaign for the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF). As a result of customer and employee donations during its annual "Band Together for SCF" campaign and summer trade show fundraising events, TravelCenters recently presented a check for $295,843.16 to the organization. 

Each year, TravelCenters leads the charge to exceed the previous year’s donation to the fund. By rallying customers and employees around the single cause of helping professional drivers who are suffering financial hardship due to medical problems, TravelCenters has worked to help raise nearly $1.4 million since 2010 for the SCF.

VERC Enterprises

VERC Enterprises recently completed renovations on the former rectory adjacent to Trinity Academy in Brockton, Mass., and partnered with Stonehill College to facilitate a graduate curriculum under the auspices of the Stonehill College Service Corps program.

The building at 42 Wendell Ave., now known as the Community House at Trinity, was purchased by VERC from the Archdiocese of Boston in fall 2013. Prior to this purchase and renovation of the 12-bedroom building, there was no housing for these Service Corps students.

Stonehill College serves as Catholic advisors to Trinity Academy and for the past two years, has partnered with Trinity as part of its Service Corps program, sending recent Stonehill graduates to work with Trinity and with inner-city residents.

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