Kangaroo Express Continues Support for Troops, Families

Third annual Salute Our Troops campaign runs through Labor Day

Published in CSP Daily News

CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc. has announced the third annual Salute Our Troops campaign, inviting customers in its more than 1,550 Kangaroo Express convenience stores across 13 states to demonstrate united support for military personnel and their families.

From the week before Independence Day through Labor Day, June 26 through Sept. 3, Kangaroo Express will again invite customers to make donations to the campaign and encourage communities to send special messages of praise and gratitude to the military.

Donations from the campaign will support the USO, lifting the spirits of America's troops 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; as well as eight state-based military support organizations.

Since its inaugural year in 2011, the Salute Our Troops campaign has raised $5.7 million dollars, breaking fundraising records for many beneficiary organizations, including two of the most accomplished grassroots campaigns the USO has been involved in during its more than 70-year history.

"The United States military is a model for teamwork, with our Armed Forces working together to protect and serve our country. The same spirit of teamwork drives Salute Our Troops, rallying our guests, associates, partners and the communities we serve," said Joe Venezia, senior vice president of operations for Kangaroo Express. "We are enlisting our team for the third time this summer to show our united appreciation for our nation's troops and their families and raise funds to support the military organizations dedicated to helping them."

The eight 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 & Airmen Assistance Fund of North Carolina, South Carolina Military Family Care Association and the Patriot Foundation and United States Veterans Corps, both based in North Carolina.

Kangaroo Express stores throughout the southeastern United States will hold Salute Our Troops celebrations 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. Representing JBM Motorsports based in Evansville, Ind., O'Neal and the Salute Our Troops Dragster will also race in National Hot Rod Association and Lucas Oil Racing events this summer.

At each celebration, Kangaroo Express is inviting guests to send messages of thanks and appreciation to be shared with troops and their families through military support organizations involved in the campaign.

Donations raised during the 2012 Salute Our Troops campaign continue to support our military and their families. The donations are helping to operate 17 USO centers in seven states and drive USO programs that support healing heroes, families of the fallen, America's troops and military families. Emergency grant programs run by state-based military support organizations have distributed grants for military families that support a wide range of needs including car payments and medical bills.

PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies with iconic brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and Frito-Lay, is the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express' fundraising goal for the third consecutive year.

"We are proud to join Kangaroo Express in showing our support for troops and their families," said Chris DeLong, vice president of the dollar, drug and convenience store channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages. "This annual campaign continues to help Kangaroo Express, its guests and PepsiCo give back to our cherished service men and women."

Additional Salute Our Troops sponsor partners include McLane and Rockstar.

The Pantry's Kangaroo Express c-stores meet the daily food and fuel shopping needs of guests. As of May 7, 2013, the Cary, N.C.-based company operated 1,567 stores in 13 states under select banners, including its primary operating banner Kangaroo Express. With more than half of its stores located within 25 miles of a military installation, Kangaroo Express has supported the military and their families for many years, most recently raising $3.17 million for the USO and other military support organizations as part of its summer-long Salute Our Troops fundraising campaign.

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