Kangaroo Express Launches Jeep Tour

Restored WWII jeep will travel 100 miles each day to recognize military heroes

Published in CSP Daily News

CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc. is breathing new life into a World War II Jeep to travel from city to city in a summer-long celebration to honor U.S. armed forces and their families. As part of its Kangaroo Express "Salute Our Troops" fundraising campaign, local military heroes will be recognized with community celebrations along the route.

Over the course of 16 weeks, the Salute Our Troops Jeep Tour mission is to travel to 12 markets throughout the Southeast, covering up to 100 miles each day and making celebratory stops at community events, military installations and Kangaroo [image-nocss] Express stores along the way.

The fully restored 1952 Willy's CJ-3 Jeep will help raise awareness and donations for military charitable organizations and shine a spotlight of appreciation as communities honor military heroes who have served in the armed forces or have positively impacted the lives of those who serve our country. The hero will have the opportunity to ride along as a co-pilot for the day and will be recognized for their service and accomplishments.

"When you see the Salute Our Troops Jeep outside one of our Kangaroo Express convenience stores, you know the light is shining on a true local hero," said John Fisher, senior vice president of The Pantry. "It's our way of saying thanks to the men and women who serve our country and show support to their families who hold down the fort back home."

Joanie Thresher, director of USO South Carolina, will ride as the first hero recognized in the Salute Our Troops Jeep as it makes its first appearance in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., Memorial Day Weekend Parade on May 28.

"This is a real honor to be representing the Salute Our Troops campaign and the USO in the Memorial Day parade," said Thresher. "Lifting the spirits of the troops and their families is at the heart of all our USO community involvement and this Salute Our Troops Jeep Tour drives home the importance of recognizing and supporting the men and women who are serving or have served our country."

For the Salute Our Troops campaign, Kangaroo Express is asking store guests to help raise $1 million between Memorial Day and Labor Day through donations at the more than 1,600 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states to benefit the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and National Guard family assistance programs.

Store guests are encouraged to support the Salute Our Troops campaign with $1 donations and to add their own voices of gratitude with "shoutouts" of pride and appreciation by posting photos and videos on the Kangaroo Express Facebook page.

After its debut in South Carolina, the Jeep will travel to communities across North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama in the first 30 days alone and additional stops are planned for Georgia and Florida. Live updates from the Jeep stops will post to the Kangaroo Express Twitter account, www.twitter.com/KrooExpress.

The Pantry, headquartered in Cary, N.C., is a major independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently operated c-store chains in the country. As of May 9, 2011, it operated 1,659 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.

With more than half of our stores located within 25 miles of a military installation, Kangaroo Express has supported the military and their families for many years. For example, Kangaroo Express sponsored the Indy 500 Centennial Tour of legendary Indy drivers visiting U.S. military bases in Europe and the Middle East and an aircraft carrier at sea. Kangaroo Express has also sponsored the annual American Widow Project/Kangaroo Express Golf Tournament for the past three years in support of the widows of fallen military.

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