The Wawa Foundation, a non-profit funded by Wawa, has announced it is contributing $250,000 to hometown teams across its chain who are training for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games scheduled for June 5-12, 2022, in Orlando, Fla., with allocations to the state chapters based on store presence. In addition, Wawa made a $50,000 contribution in honor of a limited-time Gold Medal Hot Chocolate specialty beverage, raising awareness of the athletes and available chain-wide from early January through February 2022.
Through January and February, customers are invited to team up with Wawa and The Wawa Foundation to support Special Olympics in the following ways:
- Donating funds to The Wawa Foundation’s in-store customer fundraising campaign — The Wawa Foundation is currently hosting its annual in-store customer fundraising campaign, accepting coin donations at all 900-plus locations across its six states and Washington, D.C. through Feb. 20. Customers can also participate in the in-store scan campaign by donating $1, $3 or $5 to their purchase at the point of sale during Jan. 17–Feb. 13. The funds raised support sports competition and training, young athletes, a healthy community, and unified champion schools. In 2021, the in-store customer fundraising campaign generated $836.035.06 for Special Olympics chain-wide.
- Toasting athletes headed to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games with the limited-time Gold Medal Hot Chocolate — Through Feb. 28, Wawa’s limited-time Gold Medal Hot Chocolate specialty beverage will be available across all 900-plus Wawa stores, with Wawa making a $50,000 contribution towards hometown athletes training for the games.
- Taking the Special Olympics Polar Plunge — Wawa and The Wawa Foundation invite its associates and customers to participate at chapter plunges across its operating area, whether in person or virtually. The Wawa Foundation waives registration and fundraising minimums for participating associates. In addition, associates volunteer their time distributing hot beverages to chilly plungers from the Wawa Community Care Coffee Vehicle at select plunges. Chapter plunges inlcude:
- New Jersey Plunge — Jan. 15, 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, N.J.
- Philadelphia Plunge — Jan. 29, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Virginia Plunge — Feb. 4–5, Hilton Oceanfront Hotel, Virginia Beach, Va.
- Washington, D.C. Plunge — Feb. 5, Capitol RiverFront-Yards Park, Washington, D.C.
- Delaware Plunge — Feb. 6, Rehoboth Beach, Del.
- Easton Plunge — Feb. 19, Scott Park, Easton, Pa.
- New Jersey Plunge — Feb. 26, Seaside Heights, N.J.
- Maryland Plunge — March 26, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, Md.
“As a longstanding partner of Special Olympics, it gives us great pride to support the hometown athletes headed to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games as it serves as an extension of our purpose to Fulfill Lives in our community,” said Chris Gheysens, president and CEO of Wawa. “We know how much the Games mean to local athletes and remain committed to cheering them on each step of the way!”
“We are proud and grateful for the continuing dedication and support The Wawa Foundation, Wawa associates and their customers have shown Special Olympics athletes over the years,” stated Heather Andersen, president and CEO of Special Olympics New Jersey. “The athletes from Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington DC, who are competing in the
upcoming 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, thank Wawa for believing in them and helping them make their journey to the Games!! They will make us all proud!!”
Wawa, a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Today, Wawa is an all day, everyday stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services and surcharge-free ATMs. Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.