The Pantry, Inc. has just announced the second annual Salute Our Troops® campaign, inviting customers in its more than 1,600 Kangaroo Express convenience stores across 13 states to demonstrate united support for military personnel and their families.
From June 27 through Sept. 4, Kangaroo Express and Salute Our Troops will again invite store guests to make donations to the campaign and empower communities to shine a spotlight of praise and gratitude on the military.
Donations from the campaign will support the USO, lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families; Wounded Warrior Project, honoring and empowering injured servicemen and women; and six state-based military support organizations. In its inaugural year, the 2011 Salute Our Troops campaign raised $2.5 million dollars, breaking fundraising records for many beneficiary organizations, including the largest grassroots fundraising initiative in the USO’s 70-year history!!
“Salute Our Troops was an overwhelming success last year thanks to the passion and commitment of our employees who brought the campaign to life, rallying communities and the customers we serve to support our military and their families. We want to continue that tradition of excellence,” said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing, merchandising and restaurant operations, Kangaroo Express. “Building on our legacy of commitment and gratitude for the sacrifices required to protect our nation and preserve our freedom, we are again joining our partners to show our united appreciation to raise money for military cause organizations.”
The six state-based organizations benefiting cover five states throughout the Southeast and include the Enlisted Association of National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund Inc., Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, North Carolina National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, South Carolina Military Family Care Association, and the United States Veterans Corps based in North Carolina.
Salute Our Troops celebrations will be held at Kangaroo Express stores throughout the southeastern United States led by the Salute Our Troops Caravan. This year, retired Staff Sergeant Kelly Fromm will join the caravan with his “Rev-It-Up for Wounded Warriors” custom patriotic show cars. Since 2010, Fromm has traveled around the country in his custom cars to honor fallen American soldiers and raise funds for various veteran groups.
Celebrations will also include the Salute Our Troops Command Center, where store guests will add their own voice of gratitude with “shout outs” of pride and appreciation. Many will be showcased on the Salute Our Troops website at www.KESalute.com to share with troops and families around the world.
Donations continue to support our military and their families. The 2011 Salute Our Troops donations have been helping operate 12 USO centers and three USO military family support programs, as well as Wounded Warrior Project programs designed to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Emergency grant programs run by the state-based military support organizations have been able to distribute grants for military families and even build a rehabilitation pool for a wounded sergeant.
“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 – the leading corporate contributor for the initiative. “This annual campaign continues to help Kangaroo Express, its guests and PepsiCo give back to our cherished service men and women. It is also a great example of Performance with Purpose – our company’s commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we work, live and operate.”