Community Service Spotlight: CITGO, MFA Oil & OMEGA

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:

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

As the 2015 hurricane season started and the 10th anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were commemorated, CITGO joined America’s Wetland Foundation to support its new restoration efforts in Lafourche Parish. CITGO donated $250,000, which will support a shoreline restoration effort along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Lafourche Parish. The restoration effort seeks to end coastal erosion through the use of green technology.

The support of America's Wetland Foundation is part of CITGO's larger Caring for Our Coast initiative, a series of programs extending the company's ongoing commitment to environmental protection and restoration leading up to the 10th anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September of this year.

In other CITGO giving news, now through Oct. 18, educators seeking to improve their schools are eligible to enter the CITGO Fueling Education program, which offers teachers, student teachers and PTA/PTO members the chance to win $1,000 in school supplies for their classrooms. Eligible K-12 public school educators can visit the Fueling Good Facebook page to register. Multiple winners will be randomly selected each week during the 14-week campaign, and more than $100,000 in school supplies from National School Supply will be awarded. 

Now in its third year, the CITGO Fueling Education program is reaching more teachers than ever, thus far awarding 112 winners from the 28 states in which CITGO operates, as well as the District of Columbia. 

Exxon Mobil Corp.

XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, donated $5 million to a North Dakota government housing fund that subsidizes construction of low-cost apartments for teachers and emergency personnel in the state’s oil patch. North Dakota has had a hard time attracting teachers, police officers and firefighters into towns due to the high cost of housing.

The donation to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund will be used to construct more than 75 apartment units in Kildeer, Watford City and Williston, towns at the center of the state's oil hub. XTO Energy’s donation is the largest since the fund was established in 2011.

MFA Oil Co.

MFA Oil raised more than $76,000 for Operation Homefront during its first Charity Golf Scramble & Concert, held June 1. Operation Homefront is a national not-for-profit organization that provides emergency and other financial assistance to military families and injured veterans. More than 100 people attended the tournament and competed for awards and prize money, according to a news release.

The Hub Convenience Stores

Dickinson, N.D.-based The Hub Convenience Stores was recognized by the North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation as its 2015 Region 8 Business Award Winner. The award recognizes and celebrates businesses that support, develop and inspire people with disabilities to achieve their full potential by devoting time and energy to work with vocational rehabilitation and their community in a meaningful way.

VERC Enterprises

Leo and Paul Vercollone, president and vice president, respectively, of VERC Enterprises, were recently honored with the Franciscan Leadership Award from Cardinal Cushing Centers. Cardinal Cushing Centers is an intergenerational community where individuals with intellectual disabilities are provided support to achieve independence and fulfilling relationships.

The Vercollones accepted the award at Cardinal Cushing Centers’ annual fundraising gala, held June 4 at the Weston Boston Copley, for their commitment to hiring those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association (OMEGA)

The West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association (OMEGA), an organization representing convenience stores, independent grocers and petroleum marketers across West Virginia, raised $79,615 to help the children and families cared for by the Children's Home Society of West Virginia during the "Every Child Deserves A Loving Home" campaign.

OMEGA-member convenience and grocery stores partnered with the Children's Home Society of West Virginia to raise funds that will be used to support child assistance programs, such as emergency child shelters, foster care, adoption, mentoring, early intervention and numerous other family support programs throughout the state. Brightly colored, Mother's Day-themed paper flowers were sold for $1 at nearly 500 OMEGA-member convenience and grocery stores from April 10 to May 10.

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