Generosity Was Stop-N-Go Owner's Legacy

Published in CSP Daily News

Businessman, philanthropist Ellig passes away; Go Mart's Long also passes away

FARGO, N.D. -- Fargo, N.D., businessman and philanthropist Sheldon "Shelly" Ellig, the owner of the Stop-N-Go convenience store chain, has died at age 82, reported InForum. Ellig purchased 10 Stop-N-Go stores from Mid-America Dairies in 1974. Stop-N-Go now has 27 locations in North Dakota and Minnesota. He also purchased the Frank McKone Cigar Co. in Fargo in 1975 and has owned and operated several other businesses throughout his career.

Ellig was well-known for giving large donations to benefit area youths, said the report.

"We think of Shelly Ellig as one [image-nocss] of the giants in our community," Marilyn Guy, Fargo Oak Grove Lutheran School interim president, told the newspaper. "He left a tremendous legacy, particularly to children and youth."

In December 2008, Ellig announced a $1.25 million gift to Oak Grove Lutheran School for the Ellig Center for Health & Wellness. He has also given large donations to North Dakota State University, the Red River Zoo and Fargo Shanley High School. In 2009, he donated more than $1 million toward the Shelly Ellig Athletic Complex at Shanley.

"That was the major impetus to being able to complete our home field," said Todd Mickelson, Fargo Catholic Schools Network development director. "It's had a huge impact on our kids. It's not just about sports, it's about fellowship."

Ellig contributed $250,000 toward the construction of a track and field and soccer complex bearing his name at NDSU in 1992. He also pledged $1 million for the renovation of the Bison Sports Arena. Erv Inniger, NDSU's senior associate athletic director, has known Ellig for 33 years. Inniger said in addition to the donations, Ellig has done "tons of promotions" to help get NDSU's athletic programs off the ground. "There's almost no way that you can put into words the number of things he has done to help us, whether it be through scholarships or getting us through the tough times," Inniger told the paper.

Ellig received an honorary doctorate degree in 2007 from NDSU, said the report. That same year, the National Grocers Association gave him the 2007 Spirit of America award.

In addition to giving children a chance to participate in the Red River Zoo's junior zookeeper program, Ellig also donated $400,000 for the zoo's Shelly Ellig entrance building, which includes the South American exhibit. "He did so much for the community and cared so much about the kids, and he will be dearly missed," Paula Grimestad, the zoo's executive director, told the paper.

CSP sends condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues.

In late August, the industry also lost Alta Glenn Long Jr., 66. Long was the marketing director for Go Mart Corp., Gassaway, W.Va., for 33 years.

He was a member of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and completed the Financial Management Institute in 1983. West Virginia Lottery recognized him for his time, dedication and understanding service and was a member of the Lottery Retailer Advisory Board. He completed the Food Industry Management Program at Cornell University in 1984.

Go Mart currently operates 100 stores in most of the state of West Virginia, and border areas of Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

CSP sends condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues.