Kangaroo Express, operated by The Pantry Inc. announced its fourth annual Salute Our Troops campaign has raised more than $1.9 million, bringing the total amount of funds raised over the past four summers to $10 million.
From the week before Independence Day through Labor Day, June 25 to Sept. 2, Kangaroo Express invited store guests and communities to demonstrate united support for military personnel and their families by making donations to the campaign at its more than 1,500 convenience stores across 13 states.
“For the fourth year in a row, a patriotic fervor and passionate gratitude was demonstrated during this summer’s Salute Our Troops campaign, rallying tremendous support and pride within the communities we serve,” said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of operations, Kangaroo Express. “With more than one-third of our associates having a direct connection to the military, supporting our troops means supporting our Kangaroo Express family. This year’s significant donation brings the total amount of funds raised by the campaign to $10 million, further bolstering our ongoing commitment to our nation’s troops and their families.”
Donations from the campaign, including contributions from generous Kangaroo Express customers, will directly support the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, providing emergency communications, comfort and assistance to military, veterans and their families; Fisher House Foundation, donating “comfort homes” at major military and VA medical centers that enable military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization; the U.S. Veterans Corps, a corps of military veterans, spouses, dependents and patriotic citizens performing hands on community service with a mission and deployment attitude, as well as six state-based military support organizations.
The six state-based organizations benefiting from the campaign span five states throughout the Southeast and include the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund, Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund of North Carolina, South Carolina Military Family Care Association and the USO of North Carolina.
Donations raised during the 2013 Salute Our Troops campaign continue to support our military and their families. The donations are helping to build a new Fisher House at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C., scheduled to open its doors in 2015, among many other programs. Emergency grant programs run by state-based military support organizations have provided military families with support for a wide range of needs, including car payments and medical bills.
For the first time, Kangaroo Express held motorcycle charity rides throughout the Southeast called Salute Our Troops “ROO Rides.” The ROO Ride events included family fun celebrations and made stops at Kangaroo Express locations, local military support organizations, community parks, memorials, and more to drive hometown support and recognize military heroes and families in local communities along its route.
Salute Our Troops presenting sponsor, PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies with iconic brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and Frito-Lay, was the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express’ fundraising goal for the fourth consecutive year.
“We’re proud to continue our steadfast support for Kangaroo Express’ annual Salute Our Troops campaign that year after year provides much needed funds and support for troops and their families,” said Chris DeLong, vice president of the Dollar, Drug and Convenience Store Channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages.