CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc., the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States, said that its Salute Our Troops campaign has raised $2.5 million, more than double its original goal of $1 million.
Through The Pantry's more than 1,600 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states, store guests and communities enthusiastically demonstrated united support for military personnel and their families. Half of the donations will support the USO, making Salute Our Troops one of the largest donations to the USO in a single fundraising campaign during its 70 years of delivering programs, entertainment and other services to the military. The remaining donations support Wounded Warrior Project, honoring and empowering injured servicemen and women and five state-based military support organizations.
"Kangaroo Express guests and associates answered the call this summer, in a resounding testament to the pride and gratitude of Americans, to show support for our armed forces and their families," said John Fisher, senior vice president of The Pantry. "This overwhelming donation is a great demonstration to what Americans can achieve when working together on one common goal. This unifying campaign brought together our sponsors, employees and store guests to salute our troops and their families through these outstanding military support organizations."
Military personnel, veterans, sponsors, employees, store guests and their families were invited to attend the Salute Our Troops check presentation on September 15 in Cary, N.C. More than 700 attended to celebrate the culmination of this summer-long campaign.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Kangaroo Express, along with Salute Our Troops presenting sponsor PepsiCo, invited store guests to make $1 donations toward its $1 million goal. That goal was achieved in just the first five weeks of the campaign on Independence Day weekend.
As part of the campaign, the USO Salute Our Troops Jeep Tour traveled more than 13,500 miles throughout eight states, honoring local military heroes and families in more than 75 local communities along the route.
Customers added their own voice of gratitude with "shoutouts" of pride and appreciation by posting photos on the Kangaroo Express Facebook page and filming video salutes with the USO Jeep Crew. More than 3,000 "shout outs" are showcased on the Salute Our Troops website at www.KESalute.com.
Among the other brands and companies that supported the Salute Our Troops campaign are Monster, Kronik, Oh Yeah!, Celsius, Activate, McLane, Real Tree, Red Bull, Lance, Snapple, General Mills, KRAFT, Jackson Lewis, Borden Dairy, Nestle Waters, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Wilbur-Curtis, ECOLAB, Gilbarco, Jones-Frank, GSP Marketing Technologies and Lonesource.
Based in Cary, N.C., The Pantry operates 1,655 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner. 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. 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.
[Pictured (left to right): Dave Henninger, vice president of marketing services, The Pantry; John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing and merchandising, The Pantry; Terry Marks, president and CEO, The Pantry; Sergeant Tommy Rieman , Silver Star recipient and military advisor for the Salute Our Troops Campaign.]