Kangaroo Express, operated by The Pantry Inc., was named the 2014 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation by the Triangle Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Executive leadership from Kangaroo Express accepted the award at AFP’s National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on Nov. 12 at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C.
The Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation category recognizes organizations that demonstrate outstanding commitment through financial support, encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and national, international and/or community involvement.
Kangaroo Express supports various causes across its more than 1,500-store footprint. Its annual fundraiser for Victory Junction has totaled nearly $3.5 million in donations over the past six years, sending 1,300 children ages six to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses to summer camp. Victory Junction was founded in 2004 by the Petty family of NASCAR in honor of Adam Petty. The camp relies solely on donations from individuals and corporations like Kangaroo Express to give children a life-changing camping experience.
“We are grateful for this recognition and for the opportunity to help support incredibly important organizations across the Southeast,” said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of operations, Kangaroo Express. “Partners such as Victory Junction have inspired us to make charitable giving a cornerstone of our business, and we look forward to continuing to support causes that make a positive impact on the communities we serve.”
Regional annual fundraisers are also held for Give Kids the World Village, a 70-acre, non-profit “storybook” village in Central Florida that provides cost-free weeklong vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, and Junior Achievement, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people to own their economic success.
With more than half of its stores located within 25 miles of a military installation, Kangaroo Express has also supported the military and their families for many years, including raising millions of dollars each year for military support organizations as part of its summer-long Salute Our Troops fundraising campaign. This year’s Salute Our Troops campaign raised more than $1.9 million, bringing the total amount of funds raised over the past four summers to $10 million.
The AFP represents more than 30,000 members in 235 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.