UNC Wins $20K Donation from Kangaroo Express

UNC beats NC State and Duke to benefit student-led UNC Build a Block program in Battle for Bean Street contest.

Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry Inc., an independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S., officially announced the University of North Carolina as its Battle for Bean Street Champion, scoring the $20,000 grand prize donation from Kangaroo Express for UNC Build a Block.

UNC firmly defended its first place position since February, when it usurped the lead from initial forerunner NC State. Since then, the Tar Heels consistently held the lead, ultimately broadening it by more than 3,000 Battle for Bean Street coffee cups. Carolina fans purchased a grand total of 49,402 cups, 40% of the total, since the start of the battle in November 2010. The NC State Wolfpack placed second with 37% of the battle cups sold and the Duke Blue Devils came in third with 23%.

By claiming the title of Battle for Bean Street Champion, UNC has secured the $20,000 donation for UNC Build a Block, a student-led initiative committed to building 10 Habitat for Humanity houses for university and UNC hospital employee families in the 10 months of the 2010-2011 academic school year.

“What Tar Heel fans have been able to do for UNC Build a Block and the families it supports, just by going out and making a conscious decision to support UNC when buying their morning coffee, is tremendous,” said Leah Vance, co-director of UNC Build a Block and a senior at UNC studying public health. “I have said it from the beginning and these results just proved it, Carolina fans have the most school spirit of any of the area universities.”

The battle clock ran out Thursday, March 31, at 11:59 p.m., as fans rushed to beat the buzzer and score one last point for their favorite university by purchasing a Bean Street Coffee cup with a UNC, NC State or Duke logo at Triangle-area Kangaroo Express convenience stores. Ultimately, UNC’s scoreboard proved to hold the most points by the end of the competition, garnering the grand prize donation from Kangaroo Express.

However, not all of the spoils will go to the victor; each of the runner-ups will receive a $5,000 donation to its charity of choice. NC State battled on behalf of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and Duke on behalf of the Duke Cancer Institute.

“While we are proud to present the $20,000 grand prize donation to UNC Build a Block, we are equally honored to donate $5,000 to both the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and Duke Cancer Institute,” said John Fisher, vice president of marketing at The Pantry. “All three worthy charities emerged victorious from the battle, with both monetary donations and increased loyalty and support from diehard university fans.”

UNC Build a Block will use the donation from Kangaroo Express to pay off expenses associated with building the houses, according to Vance.

“There are a lot of additional expenses in building a house that people don’t often realize, many that need to be paid before the family can even move in,” said Vance. “Between building and land permits and taxes, these costs add up quickly. The $20,000 donation will go a long way in helping to pay for those added mandatory fees.”

On Saturday, April 9, UNC Build a Block will accept its grand prize donation during a check presentation at the UNC Blue & White spring football game. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund will accept its donation at the NC State Red & White spring football game on Saturday, April 16 and Duke Cancer Institute at the 7 p.m. Durham Bulls baseball game on Friday, April 15.

The Battle for Bean Street marks the first time the top three N.C. universities worked together in a single collaborative campaign. It is part of The Pantry’s “Fresh Initiative” in the Triangle to serve customers its improved, great-tasting Bean Street Coffee, and introduce new fresh food options with a fast, friendly, and clean shopping experience.

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