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Community Service Spotlight: C-store Industry Lends Support to Military

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, highlighting initiatives specific to contributions made in support of the U.S. military.

Casey’s General Stores Inc.

Throughout the month of April, Casey’s raised nearly $1 million via its dog tag promotion for Hope For The Warriors, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, the family unit and hope to service members. 

Casey’s customers purchased $1 dog tags that were displayed throughout its stores. Collectively, the company raised $941,951.41 from more than 1,900 stores located in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

This is the fifth year Casey’s has supported Hope For The Warriors. In total, the convenience store operator has raised more than $3.9 million for the organization.

MFA Oil Co.

Columbia, Mo.-based MFA Oil raised $165,000 to support Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that provides emergency and other financial assistance to military troops and their families. The company raised the money through its second-annual Charity Golf Scramble & Concert, held June 6. More than 200 golfers participated.

“We’re proud to support Operation Homefront in their efforts to assist the military families and wounded warriors who protect our freedom,” said Mark Fenner, MFA Oil president and CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of everyone who played a role in our charity golf tournament and concert, we were able to more than double our donation from last year.”

QuickChek Corp.

For the third consecutive year, Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based QuickChek also ran a dog tag promotion to raise donations for Hope For The Warriors. Each dog tag purchased was signed and posted on the walls of the company’s stores throughout New Jersey, New York’s Hudson Valley, and Long Island.  

“We are very pleased to continue to honor and support our service members and their families who give so much of themselves,” said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling. “We are also very proud of our customers who strongly support our efforts to give back to the communities we serve. It is a reflection of our being a welcome part of the neighborhoods where we have store locations and recognition of our total commitment and dedication to our customers.”

According to QuickChek, all of the funds raised will stay in local areas to help support local veterans.

Talking Rain Beverage Co.

Sparkling Ice parent company, Talking Rain Beverage, announced its involvement with the Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit that transports veterans to Washington, D.C., at no expense to visit and reflect at memorials dedicated to their service. As part of the brand’s “Celebrate America” summer initiative, Sparkling Ice Vice President of Sales Chris Hall challenged the brand’s sales team to increase awareness through a fundraising sales program. For every 250-case Celebrate America-themed “WOW” display built in stores from May 15 through July 15, Talking Rain donated $25 to the Honor Flight Network.

The brand's donations will specifically support the Puget Sound Honor Flight, which will escort 112 people from the region — 56 veterans of World War II and the Korean War and their 55 guardians — from Talking Rain's hometown of Seattle to the nation's capital.

"Having spent nearly five years serving with the U.S. Navy, the Honor Flight Network is an organization close to my heart," said Hall. "It was important to me that we inspire and motivate our team while giving back to our veterans, and we are humbled to lend our support to the upcoming Puget Sound Honor Flight."

TravelCenters of America LLC

From June 28 to Aug. 5, participating TravelCenters of America Country Pride and Iron Skillet restaurant locations will donate $1 to the National Military Family Association (NFMA) for each entrée ordered from a select group of menu items. The NFMA is a nonprofit that provides spouse scholarships, camps for military kids and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill or injured.  

“Nearly one in three truck drivers is a military veteran,” said Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. “These brave individuals served our nation in the armed forces and continue to serve by safely delivering goods across our country.” 

Additionally, on July 4, active and retired service members were invited to receive a free meal from a menu of signature favorites.

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