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.
CITGO marketers in Michigan participated in the Month of Mott fundraiser benefiting the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The effort raised nearly $5,000 to support the hospital’s Buckle Up program, which provides car seats for children and educates parents on how to properly use them.
Fundraising took place at multiple Michigan CITGO gasoline stations where customers were encouraged to either purchase a $1 Mott Block or round up their purchase to the nearest dollar and donate the difference.
In other CITGO giving news, the company and its branded marketers Griffith Energy Services Inc., Carroll Independent Fuel Co. and the Willis Group donated $15,000 in CITGO gift cards to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and announced the “Be A Star, Buy A Star” community fundraising campaign to further benefit the hospital. The gift cards were given to families whose children are being treated at the facility to assist them with travel costs to and from the hospital.
Constellation Brands' Beer Division, the third-largest beer company in the United States, joined the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, an association that promotes responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities. Constellations Brands’ membership expands the reach of TEAM’s message by engaging more guests of sports and entertainment events to promote responsibility, according to the company.
The coalition provides employee training in effective alcohol management. The association annually certifies more than 60,000 facility employees in its training program, as well as manages the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign, which encourages sports and entertainment guests to have a designated driver.
Savannah, Ga.-based enmarket donated $10,000 to four area nonprofit organizations through its 2015 Encourage Health Educational Series, during which the area’s most respected experts shared insights on nutrition, fitness and general tips for healthy living. Those awarded donations were: Childhood Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE), GA Bikes! for the Encourage Health grant, Effingham County Navigator Team, and Forsyth Farmer’s Market. Each nonprofit received a $2,000 grant.
Each chosen nonprofit was eligible to win a grand prize and was given a scanable bar code that could be used by patrons throughout the year with the enmarket mobile app to earn points at any of the company’s 64 convenience stores. During the last lecture of the series, enmarket announced that COPE had received the most scans and presented a check for $2,000 to Sandy Baker, the organization’s founding executive director.
Exxon Mobil Corp.
ExxonMobil presented the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources with an $800,000 check as part of a larger $2.5-million commitment to the school. The donation will support science and technology education programs, including research into technologies that improve the production of oil and gas.
ExxonMobil is contributing the money to provide laboratory equipment for the university’s Improved Recovery Program, which is part of the newly created Center for Advanced Oil and Gas Technologies. The center is part of the School of Energy Resources and focuses on oil and gas extraction from unconventional reservoirs.
Lykins Energy Solutions
To warm up the holiday season, Lykins Energy Solutions contributed special features to an ice rink in Cincinnati's Fountain Square. The features include the Lykins Energy Solutions warming tent, propane heaters powered by Lykins, and the Lykins-sponsored Zamboni. The added warmth began Oct. 30 and will continue through Valentine’s Day.
In other Lykins giving news, the energy distributor presented a check for $60,000 to Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Clermont Kids. The proceeds were raised through Lykins’ annual golf event. Since being named the beneficiary of the golf outing in 2000, Lykins has raised nearly $470,000 for CASA, a local nonprofit agency that works to improve the lives of abused, neglected and dependent children of Clermont County, Ohio.
Additionally, Lykins donated eight new bicycles to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Clermont County. During a two-day company summit with its sales team, Lykins employees built the bikes as part of a team-building exercise.
NOCO Express customers and employees donated $13,000 to support The Salvation Army of Buffalo. Throughout the month of November, paper kettles were sold for $1 each at all NOCO Express’ 36 locations to benefit The Salvation Army.
In a separate effort, NOCO also raised $25,015 throughout August and September to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Western & Central New York Chapter. This fundraising campaign kicked off at NOCO’s corporate offices in mid-August and included hot dog sales, dress-down days, silent auctions, loose change promotions and employee walk donations.
Throughout the month of September, NOCO Express customers participated in the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society campaign by making a $1 donation at any of the company’s locations. NOCO employees were also on hand for a “Pump It Up” promotion at three NOCO Express locations where they pumped customers’ gas and washed car windows in exchange for a donation.
In conjunction with PepsiCo’s 50th anniversary, the food and beverage company gave back to the Chicago community through strategic grants and volunteer events. As part of the company’s 50 for 50 Community Give Back program, the PepsiCo Foundation supported Chicago Cares and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago with grants of $62,500 each. Globally, the PepsiCo Foundation will be providing 82 grants totaling $5 million.
The 50 for 50 program engaged employees to participate and select the organizations that ultimately received the grants. More than 5,000 employees have volunteered with Chicago Cares and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago over the years.
Rutter’s Farm Stores
Through Rutter’s “Vote With Your Dollars” philanthropic program, three charities each received a $25,000 donation from the c-store retailer. The winners included Make a Wish Foundation, York County Food Bank and Red Cross.
Rutter’s new corporate giving program enables customers to utilize the Rutter’s mobile app, website and loyalty program to support local charities and choose the one that appeals most to them. Every dollar they spend at the pumps or inside any Rutter’s store with a registered Rutter’s Rewards card or VIP credential counts as a vote toward the customer's selected charity.
Turkey Hill Minit Markets
Turkey Hill Minit Markets presented a check for $67,000 to the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation in a ceremony held Nov. 6. The donation included funds raised during Turkey Hill’s 2015 Charity Golf Outing, as well as proceeds from T-shirt sales during the Turkey Hill/ I-105 Fallfest.
The c-store retailer also observed this past Veterans Day by offering all veterans and active-duty military personnel a free 12-ounce coffee or cappuccino, as well as a free car wash at the chain's car wash locations.