Donations from Kangaroo Express store guests nearly $2.7 million total for military support organizations
CARY, N.C., Oct. 26, 2013 – Kangaroo Express, the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States, operated by The Pantry, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTRY), today announced its summer-long Kangaroo Express “Salute Our Troops®” fundraising campaign raised $53,977 for the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, providing assistance on an emergency relief basis to soldiers and airmen serving in the Georgia National Guard and other qualified military members living in Georgia.
Kangaroo Express presented the donation to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation at a local restaurant in Marietta, Ga. Mark Ostoits, region sales director at Kangaroo Express, presented the check to Col. Mark London and Col. Dan Zachman, representatives of the foundation’s board of directors.
In its third year, the campaign raised nearly $2.7 million total for military support organizations, bringing the total to $8.4 million raised over the past three summers.
From Independence Day through Labor Day, Kangaroo Express invited store guests to make donations to the campaign and encouraged communities to share special messages of gratitude to the military. Through more than 1,550 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states, customers and communities enthusiastically demonstrated united support for military personnel and their families.
“Kangaroo Express guests, associates and partners once again elevated the Salute Our Troops campaign to unprecedented levels this summer. It is their enthusiasm and passion that demonstrates our pride in supporting our troops and their families,” said Joe Venezia, senior vice president of operations, Kangaroo Express. “This significant donation builds on Kangaroo Express’ our ongoing commitment to our nation’s troops and their families. We look forward to continuing to work with the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation to support our National Guard servicemen and women and their families right here in Georgia.”
Donations to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation will build on those collected during the first two years of the Salute Our Troops campaign to continue to support our military and their families.
These donations are helping many soldiers, airmen and their families facing financial hardships. Using the funds donated in 2012, the Foundation was able to approve 265 grants and 30 interest-free loans to military families in more than 75 Georgia counties, including payments to avoid eviction, foreclosure, utilities disconnection and repossession of vehicles due to job loss as well as emergency travel and funeral expenses and assistance to Guard members injured during deployment and training.
“On behalf of the Foundation and its Board, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation to Kangaroo Express for once again being selected as a cause partner of its Salute Our Troops campaign,” said Harriet Morgan, executive director, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation. “Thanks to the campaign, a wealth of interest was generated throughout the region and $53,977 was raised. This will go a long way in helping our citizen-soldiers when they face financial hardship. It is wonderful to know that so many communities support our military.”
In addition to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, donations from the campaign will directly support the USO, helping to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families around the world; Fisher House Foundation, donating “comfort homes” at major military and VA medical centers that enable military and Veteran’s families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization; as well as other state-based military support organizations.
More than 150 Salute Our Troops celebrations were held at Kangaroo Express stores and community events throughout the southeastern United States led by Silver Star recipient SSG Tommy Rieman and retired U.S. Army soldier and drag racer Don O’Neal, with his custom 2009 Mullis Salute Our Troops Dragster. The events included Family Fun Nights, inviting military families out for a free night of entertainment, food and fun. Banners signed with messages of thanks and appreciation by store guests throughout the tour are being shared with troops and their families at USO centers throughout the Southeast and overseas.