WAWA, Pa. — Wawa Inc. is again hosting its month-long "Cheers to Classrooms" celebration across the Sunshine State, recognizing teachers and school administration who educate, guide and inspire children across the region.
From Aug. 1-31, the program offers a free hot coffee or fountain beverage of any size to teachers and school administration. Faculty need to share they work at a school at the register to receive the offer.
The campaign also includes a $50,000 "Cheers to Classrooms" chainwide fund. Through a partnership with Donor's Choose, an online resource for teachers to submit funding requests for school supplies/support, Wawa has designated a $50,000 chainwide matching fund to support schools throughout the company's operating area.
Teachers can submit a project at www.donorschoose.org. Those schools that meet Wawa's funding criteria could receive matching funds starting Aug. 22.
"Wawa is excited to bring back its 'Cheers to Classrooms' initiative to put a smile on the faces of teachers and administration that work so hard to do the same for children in our community," said Wawa Senior Director of Store Operations Robert Yeatts. "Our associates are also looking forward to visiting local schools throughout the month to welcome teachers back into the classroom and show our appreciation for everything they do."
Wawa will launch its "Cheers to Classrooms" initiative in its Mid-Atlantic operating area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., in September.
The Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in Florida. As part of the celebration on July 18 — which commemorated the day the operator opened its first store in Orlando in 2012 — Wawa offered free hot coffee and fountain beverages of any size throughout all of its Florida stores.
Additionally, as part of the commemoration, the Wawa Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Wawa Inc., launched the Florida 10th Anniversary Fund. The endowment will have a total of $100,000 in donations to be spread across 1,000 local nonprofits in areas surrounding health, hunger and everyday heroes. Grant amounts will vary between $1,000 and $2,500.
Over the past decade, Wawa has expanded throughout Florida and will open its 250th convenience store in the state later this year.
Additionally, with plans to double its footprint within the next decade, Wawa is zeroing in on the Florida Panhandle region, along with adjacent markets in South Alabama, Convenience Store News recently reported. The convenience retailer "is actively looking" into sites for new stores in the Florida markets of Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee, along with Mobile, Ala.
Wawa currently plans to open up to 40 convenience stores in these markets. The first stores are expected to welcome customers in 2024.
The company plans to grow in its existing markets and is slated to open 54 new stores in 2022. Plans also include entering new adjacent markets in the next few years.
Wawa currently operates roughly 965 c-stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. It wants to operate approximately 1,800 locations by 2030, eventually cutting the ribbon on up to 100 c-stores a year.