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Community Service Spotlight: Rutter's, Alta & United Family

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.

Aloha Petroleum donated $5,655.69 to AccesSurf to support the organization’s efforts to provide adaptive surfing instruction and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation to people with disabilities. The Hawaii-based company matched the funds raised through its canister collection program at participating Aloha Island Mart stores statewide in November and December. 

Aloha Petroleum has also used its canister collection program to support numerous nonprofit organizations including the March of Dimes, Aloha Harvest, American Heart Association and American Red Cross.  

Alta Convenience

Alta Convenience raised $48,743 during the "Buy a Star Make-A-Wish Come True" in-store donation campaign, which took place in November and December in all 57 Alta Convenience stores. In addition to the Make-A-Wish stars purchased by customers, Alta Convenience donated 10 percent from the sale of each cup of Alta premium coffee sold during the two-month period.

With the store’s donations, six wishes were funded in partnership with Make-A-Wish in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

More than 150 Love’s employees spent a day volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County. Volunteers packed boxes of food and played games with kids.

The inaugural "Share the Love" event was held last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Love’s.

Pilot Flying J

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital received a $2.5-million donation from Pilot Flying J for a new neonatal intensive care unit. The new unit will be part of a $75-million expansion project, with the hospital financing $60 million of the project itself and the other $15 million coming from donations.

The $2.5-million donation from Pilot Flying J is the largest single donation for the project, according to Keith Goodwin, hospital president and CEO.

Rutter’s Farm Stores

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) received a $8,100 donation from Rutter’s for its yearlong fundraising effort for pediatric cancer research.

The money donated to THON and the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital was collected from customers at each of Rutter’s 60 stores through Rutter’s Charity Canister Program, as well as proceeds donated from the Rutter’s Children’s Charities annual golf outing.

Rutter’s customers can contribute to the canister program by dropping money into the canister at each register. The charity to benefit from the donations changes each month. Since Rutter’s began the program in 2008, it has raised more than $30,000 in donations. Additionally, the Rutter’s Children’s Charities golf outing, held every April, has raised more than $1 million since its beginning in 2003.

Stripes Convenience Stores

Stripes announced its second campaign for public elementary-school students to learn about fresh vegetables through the Stripes Fresh Learning Garden seeded by Laredo Taco Co. grant. The Stripes Fresh Learning Garden gives students in neighboring schools a hands-on experience to understand where food comes from and learn the value of using fresh foods.

Stripes stores is now accepting applications to award $500 grants and seeds to selected public elementary schools throughout the Stripes market area. Applications are being accepted until May 6. Selected schools will also receive a “Laredo Taco Company Teachers’ Appreciation Breakfast Party” from Stripes.

The United Family

The United Family delivered a donation of 5,600 pounds of apples to the High Plains Food Bank as part of its annual participation in the Take a Bite Out of Hunger program.

For the fourth consecutive year, The United Family is providing food for the hungry in its local communities by donating more than 39,000 pounds of apples to seven local food banks across Texas and New Mexico. Through the program, United has provided almost 150,000 pounds of apples to area food banks during the past four years.

VERC Enterprises

Through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program, funded by ExxonMobil Corp., VERC presented a number of schools in its local communities with grants recently.

VERC presented Sanborn Elementary School and West Middle School of Andover, Mass., with a check for $500 each, as well as Cold Spring Elementary School and Raymond J. Grey Junior High School in Acton. Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton was presented with two checks for $500, totaling $1,000 in grants.

The ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program is designed to provide local retailers an opportunity to invest in the future of their local communities through educational grants to neighborhood schools.

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