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NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman to Headline Sheetz Charity Event

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. will hold its 12th annual "For the Kidz" Golf Classic with the help of host National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

The event, being held June 6-7, at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., helps provide underprivileged children a more meaningful Christmas holiday. The "For the Kidz" golf outing raises money that is used by Sheetz convenience store chain employees to purchase clothing, toys and other presents for kids during the holiday season. Children attend holiday parties that are hosted by Sheetz employees throughout Sheetz' six-state marketing area and local children are then given the gifts that were bought for them, the company stated.

Joining the convenience store chain and Aikman will be New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, Oakland Raider quarterback Ken Stabler, and New York Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry.

"For the Kidz" began as the Sheetz Family Christmas in 1992, when employees of the convenience store chain in Blair County, Pa., raised money to help deserving families during the holidays.

"The 'For the Kidz' Golf Classic is an amazing event. We are very fortunate to have wonderful support from our vendors and employees for this program," Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for Sheetz, said in a statement. "The continued success of this event benefits more children each year."

Additional celebrities scheduled to attend the event include former NFL players including Lavar Arrington, Daryl "Moose" Johnston, Mike Wagner, L.C. Greenwood, Jack Ham and Mel Blount, along with former MLB players such as Mike "Spanky" Lavalliere, Zane Smith, Kent Tekulve, Andy Van Slyke and Lou Brock.

Longtime friend of the "For the Kidz" event ESPN Sportscenter anchor John Anderson will participate as well, according to the company.

In 2009, the Sheetz Family Charities program raised more than $375,000 and helped more than 5,100 deserving kids across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Since 1992, Sheetz employees have raised a total of more than $5.5 million for Sheetz Family Charities and have helped more than 52,000 children, Sheetz stated.

In other Sheetz news, Penn State named Steve Sheetz, chairman of the board of Sheetz, and his wife, Nancy, its 2010 Philanthropists of the Year, recognizing their commitment to the university as donors and volunteers, Penn State Live reported. Steve Sheetz is a Penn State Altoona alumnus who graduated from the university in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in business management.

"Nancy and Steve are dedicated to creating opportunities for students and helping them reach their full potential as leaders in their communities and professions," Penn State President Graham B. Spanier said in the report. "We are truly grateful for their generosity and unwavering commitment to Penn State."

In 2009, the couple made a $2.5 million commitment to Penn State Altoona -- the largest in the campus' 70-year history -- to expand the entrepreneurial studies program, according to the report. In 2010, they increased their commitment to $3 million, which will fund the creation of an entrepreneurial center and endow the new Sheetz Fellows program. This program is designed to enhance educational experiences through advanced instruction and participation in special projects relating to traditional areas of business: ethics, service, and leadership; excellence in communication and business acumen; and international and intercultural awareness, the report stated.

"I try to provide a positive influence. That's what I'm trying to do with this gift to Penn State Altoona," Steve said in the report. "I really hope that students in the program will be better prepared for the world they're about to enter, whether it's business or another profession."

The couple said they have always been interested in finding new ways to strengthen their community, as well as to promote educational opportunities for young adults.

"We didn't have a lot growing up, so we were never in a position where we could give much to others," Nancy said in the report. "When I have the opportunity to share with people now, I want to give what I can because I have an appreciation of what it's like to be without. It makes me feel good to share with other people or to make their dreams come true in some way."

With support from Sheetz Inc., the couple created the Sheetz Family Endowed Scholarship and Sheetz Visiting Lecture Program at the Altoona campus, Penn State Live reported.

The pair's gifts also have helped fund construction of the Advanced Technology Center and Community Arts Center, and benefited the intercollegiate athletics program, Penn State Altoona Future Fund, and William J. Rossman Renaissance Scholarship, the report stated.

Steve Sheetz has served as a member of the university's board of trustees, and has been a member of the Altoona campus' advisory board since 1984. He also chaired a number of fundraising initiatives on behalf of Penn State Altoona, and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1994, the highest recognition Penn State bestows upon its graduates. In 1999, Steve Sheetz was named an Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious honor given by the Penn State Alumni Association.

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