CST Brands, parent company of Corner Store, on Nov. 14, held the second annual Corner Store Country Run. This signature fundraising event took place in San Antonio, Texas, and consisted of a 10-city 5K run series. The final race took place at Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall with more than 10,000 participants.
The Country Run raised a net total of $1.4 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the U.S. and Canada and local children’s charities in each of the 10 race markets. Revenue was raised from participant registrations, sponsors such as Aquafina, Coca-Cola, Valero and Dr. Pepper/Snapple, and Corner Store customers who donated at the register in participating locations.
From beginning to end, the series attracted nearly 37,000 registrations and generated more than 300,000 mentions on social media of the official #CountryRun2015 hashtag.
On Saturday, Corner Store CEO Kim Lubel presented a check for $750,000 to representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the world’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network. An additional $450,000 will go to various children’s charities in each market. In Canada, the run raised $235,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montreal and other charitable causes.
“Unique programs like the country-themed 5K are what keep our audiences engaged and what help draw in new BBBS supporters,” said Pam Iorio, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “The Corner Store Country Run is an ideal example of a fun, attractive program that supports our ongoing efforts of mentoring at-risk children.”
The first Country Run kicked off in Montreal, Quebec on June 20 and ended in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, stopping along the way in Denver, Katy, Syracuse, Lehigh Valley, Fort Worth, Round Rock, Little Rock and Phoenix. This year, Corner Store added Syracuse, New York to the roster after acquiring Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and Lehigh Valley after acquiring the general partner of CrossAmerica Partners, a wholesale fuel distributor headquartered in Pennsylvania.
The course was farm-themed with hay bales, tractors and giant inflatable cows, pigs and chickens, and participants dressed in Western wear, overalls and cowboy hats. After the race, participants were treated to a free country fair with live music, beer garden, food, carnival games and giveaways.
“Now in its second year, we see people coming back and bringing their friends and family because they absolutely love this race,” said Kim Lubel, CEO and chairman of CST Brands, Corner Store’s parent company. “We hear from many of the participants that this is the first 5K they have completed with their children, or it was the first race they ran in 20 years. In addition to the money we raise, we know the event itself is making a difference in people’s lives. It is the perfect platform to engage our employees, our customers, our sponsors and our communities for a great cause.”
This year, Corner Store chose 16 employees to serve as Wellness Warriors for their geographic location, equipping them with a Fitbit and a fitness coach to help them lead a healthier lifestyle. The company brought all 16 Warriors from around the nation to San Antonio, Texas to run in the final 5K of the series.