Community Service Spotlight: Little General, Pilot Flying J & Spinx
NATIONAL REPORT — Giving back through community service efforts and charitable 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 pledged $25,000 to Diamond Head Theater in support of its capital campaign to redevelop the theater, which the company has been a supporter of for the last 25 years.
"We are pleased to support the new building campaign for Diamond Head Theater, as this organization provides a significant contribution to arts and education in the Hawaii community,"said Director of Sales & Marketing Larry Adams. "Diamond Head Theater brings Broadway to Honolulu."
The Honolulu-based c-store operator also donated $5,176.28 to the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross. The funds were raised through canister collection donations at participating Aloha Island Mart convenience stores across the state.
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
In celebration of National Reading Month, CITGO and its mobile literacy partner, Bess the Book Bus, kicked off its second annual literacy campaign at more than 100 schools and Children’s Hospitals across the U.S.
From Feb. 26 to March 9, CITGO representatives, Miss America 2017-2018, State Titleholders and Bess the Book Bus delivered brand new, free books to schools in 19 states and participated in special read-alouds for children.
"At CITGO, fueling education is important to us, which is why we are so proud to partner with Bess the Book Bus and our Fueling Good Miss America State Ambassadors to celebrate National Reading Month," said Alan Flagg, CITGO assistant vice president of supply and marketing.
The Little General convenience store chain will be honored with the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce's Community Service Award at the organization's 98th annual dinner on April 13.
The Community Service Award recognizes a person, business or organization that contributes greatly to the betterment of the community.
Little General donates scholarships to deserving students across the state and is a supporter of the West Virginia University college and athletic programs. Additionally, it recently raised $34,000 for Children's Home Society of West Virginia and donated $10,000 to Toys for Tots this past Christmas.
The c-store retailer also supports The Children's Miracle Network, Make-a-Wish Foundation and the YMCA of Southern West Virginia.
Pilot Flying J
Travel center operator Pilot Flying J supported the American Heart Association’s (AHA) "Life Is Why We Give" fundraising campaign. Throughout the month of February, American Heart Month, Pilot Flying J’s fundraising initiatives included:
- AHA Red Cups: Special-edition AHA 16-ounce hot beverage cups were offered at all locations, excluding California, that were sold for an additional 10 cents. Pilot matched the 10-cent addition for a total contribution of 20 cents per cup going directly toward the campaign.
- Paper Heart Icons: $1, $3 and $5 red hearts were available at all locations for purchase with the full amount purchased doing directly to the AHA.
- Purchase Round Up: Guests rounded up their purchase to the nearest dollar and Pilot Flying J donated the full amount of each round-up to the AHA. There were limitations on certain purchases.
- Nestlé Pure Life Water: On Feb. 14, guests could buy 2-for-$2 half liter bottles of Nestlé Pure Life water and Nestlé Waters contributed $1 of each purchase, up to $10,000, to AHA.
- Donate Online: A donation link was included on the Pilot Flying J website throughout the month of February to provide guests an easy donation access point.
"At Pilot Flying J, we value the importance of heart health and healthy lifestyles for our team members and guests," said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J and AHA board member. "We are honored to take part in the American Heart Association's Life is Why We Give campaign and are excited to bring it to life in our stores and offices, inviting our team members and guests to join us in our effort to contribute toward a healthier tomorrow for all those impacted by heart disease and stroke."
Through donations from customers, vendor partners and employees, Speedway LLC raised $10.3 million for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals in 2017.
To raise awareness of the ongoing needs of children's hospitals, Speedway organizes the Miracle Children Program, where patients from locally supported hospitals are able to share their stories with their local communities. The firsthand experiences bring a personal touch to the cause and highlight the importance of donations to fund critical treatments and services, according to the company.
Speedway has been a corporate partner of CMN Hospitals since 1991 and has raised more than $100 million over the past 26 years for the charity through fundraising activities like year-round canister campaigns and annual golf fundraising tournaments.
"Surpassing $100 million is a tremendous source of pride for our employees," said Speedway President Tony Kenney. "The unwavering dedication of our employees and the generosity of our customers and vendors truly make a difference in the lives of the kids and their families. It is an honor and a privilege to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the communities where we live and operate."
The Spinx Co.
The 18th annual Spinx Charity Golf Classic is scheduled for May 8. This year’s tournament will benefit the American Red Cross, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Loaves & Fishes, Pendleton Place and Safe Harbor. In addition, a donation will be made to the Spinx Co.’s Employee Assistance Fund.
With the addition of a third course, the 2018 tournament — which will be held at the Greenville Country Club — will be one of the biggest Spinx has hosted, according to the company.
"The golf tournament is an event that we look forward to hosting every year because it’s not only a fun day of golf, but it’s an opportunity for us to come together with our partners, vendors and associates to give back to the communities we serve," said Stewart Spinks, founder and chairman of The Spinx Co. and the Spinks Family Foundation.
Since 2000, Spinx and the Spinks Family Foundation have raised nearly $1 million for local charities with proceeds from the tournament. Each year, SPINX chooses beneficiaries that align with its philanthropic focus of "growing healthy kids where we live, work and play" through programs that focus on improving education, health, wellness and moral growth for children in South Carolina.
VERC recently presented Henry C. Sanborn Elementary School in Andover, Mass., with a check for $500, a grant made possible through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program.
Funded by the ExxonMobil Corporation and Global Partners LP, the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program is designed to provide local retailers an opportunity to invest in the future of their communities through educational grants to neighborhood schools.
"We’re proud to participate in such a fine program that recognizes and supports the quality of local schools," said Jim Fitzgerald, president of VERC Enterprises.