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.
Honolulu, Hawaii-based Aloha Petroleum Ltd. recently donated $7,184.24 to the American Diabetes Association to support the organization’s fight against the disease, which currently affects 600,000 people in Hawaii. The funds were primarily raised through its canister collection program at statewide participating Aloha Island Mart stores in January and February.
The company also contributed funds to help support the annual Walk to Stop Diabetes that was held March 21.
Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser brand is partnering with the National Park Foundation for the Find Your Park movement. The multi-million-dollar partnership aims to raise awareness about national parks and the centennial milestone of the National Park Service in 2016. The partnership was announced this Earth Day, April 22.
Budweiser will commission a summer music program at national parks to celebrate the brand’s pledge to safeguard the national and historical landscapes of America’s parks. To kick off the partnership, Budweiser launched a day of service in various parks throughout New York City on April 21.
Additionally, Budweiser is rolling out limited-edition patriotic packaging featuring the iconic silhouette of the Lady Liberty. The Lady Liberty packs will be available in 8-, 12-, 16- and 25-ounce cans and 16-ounce aluminum bottles.
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
CITGO is this year’s official fuel sponsor of the Unified Relay Across America, a nationwide race leading up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer games in Los Angeles, beginning July 25. As the official fuel sponsor, CITGO will support 36 vehicles that accompany the torch bearers from coast to coast. The route will travel through a number of CITGO market areas, where the company has donated 30 segments, including the route in Houston and Lake Charles, La.
The Unified Relay, which takes place over 46 days, began May 26 and is designed to celebrate diversity, respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, according to CITGO. During the race, participants exchange the torch hand-by-hand, with the final destination as Los Angeles for the launch of the World Summer Games. The race is led by celebrities and Special Olympics athletes, and is made up of three simultaneous routes crossing all 50 states.
Since 2013, CITGO employees have donated nearly 2,000 hours of their personal time to the various benefits and charity events associated with the Special Olympics in the United States.
Enmark Stations Inc.
From May 1 to May 31, Enmark sold paper icons in all 64 of its retail locations in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night Walk. The paper icons could be personalized with the donor’s name and purchased for $1 to be displayed on surfaces inside Enmark stations.
The company set a goal to raise $83,706 in support of LLS’s mission to cure blood cancer and help patients and their families. The goal is a 10-percent increase over the $76,094 raised in the same campaign last year.
In addition to selling paper icons, Enmark held Full-Service Fridays in Springfield, Ga., Tifton, Ga., Arden, N.C., and Bluffton, S.C., to raise additional funds for LLS. Full-Service Fridays allowed customers to pull into the Enmark store, where company members pumped gas, wiped windows and handed out coupons to collect donations. Local radio stations broadcasted each event, where hot dogs, drinks and snacks were available and donors were entered to win Enmark cash cards and other prizes.
Recently, Enmark was honored with a National Partner Award from LLS for its fundraising support.
Exxon Mobil Corp.
As part of the ExxonMobil Foundation's Educational Matching Gift Program, ExxonMobil and its employees donated $2.6 million to higher education institutions across Louisiana. In 2014, ExxonMobil employees, directors and more contributed $697,000 to 19 Louisiana colleges and universities, which was matched with $1.9 million in unrestricted grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation.
The Educational Matching Gift Program matches donor pledges three-to-one, up to $7,500, to qualified colleges and universities in the U.S., as well as the American Indian College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund.
Since the program’s founding in 1962, more than $568 million has been donated to American higher learning institutions. Nationwide, nearly 900 institutions received $47 million through the 2014 Educational Matching Gift Program, a $3-million increase over the previous year.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s Kangaroo Express banner, in partnership with The Coca-Cola Co., presented a check for $498,960.23 to Victory Junction co-founder Kyle Petty before the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16. The money will send 200 children between the ages of six and 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses to summer camp.
During the seventh-annual fundraiser, Kangaroo Express collected donations through March at more than 500 Kangaroo Express convenience stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Kangaroo Express stores in Charleston, S.C., first began raising funds in 2009 and have so far totaled nearly $4 million in donations and have enabled the c-store chain to send 1,500 children to summer camp.
Victory Junction was founded in 2004 by the Petty family in honor of Adam Petty. The camp relies solely on donations from individuals and corporations like Kangaroo Express to give children a life-changing camping experience. For $2,500, one child has the chance to attend camp for a week at no cost to his or her family.
Global Partners LP
Global Partners' Alltown convenience stores donated $400,000 each to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society through Alltown customer contributions throughout New England locations and other fundraising.
Of the total amount raised for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, $150,000 will be distributed to the Connecticut Chapter MS Fund, which provides programs and services to more than 6,300 Connecticut residents battling the disease. The MS Society’s Greater New England Chapter, which serves Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, will receive $25,000.
Mars Chocolate North America
Mars Chocolate North America’s M&M’S brand kicked off a new campaign called #MakeMLaugh to support Red Nose Day as it debuted in the U.S., starting off with a comedy event at the M&M’S World Store in New York on May 11, featuring Saturday Night Live star and stand-up comedian Jay Pharoah.
M&M’S hoped to make $1 million in total donations for the Red Nose Day Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations that help lift children and young people out of poverty in the U.S. and overseas. The brand kickstarted the effort by donating $750,000 and asked consumers to help raise the additional $250,000 by using or engaging with #MakeMLaugh.