Donations from Kangaroo Express store guests will benefit the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and other military support organizations.
The Pantry Inc.’s summer-long Kangaroo Express “Salute Our Troops” fundraising campaign has raised $3.17 million, surpassing the total number of funds raised during the inaugural 2011 campaign.
In celebration of the campaign’s success, military personnel, veterans, cause partner volunteers, sponsors, employees and their families will gather on Oct. 3 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., for the Salute Our Troops check presentation event.
From Independence Day through Labor Day, Kangaroo Express invited store guests to make donations to the campaign and empower communities to shine a spotlight of praise and gratitude on the military. Through The Pantry’s more than 1,500 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states, customers and communities enthusiastically demonstrated united support for military personnel and their families.
“Kangaroo Express guests and associates elevated the Salute Our Troops campaign to unprecedented levels this summer. It is their enthusiasm and passion that shows we, as a community, are here to support our troops and their families,” said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing, merchandising and restaurant operations, Kangaroo Express.“This significant donation builds on Kangaroo Express’ ongoing commitment and gratitude for the sacrifices required to protect our nation and preserve our freedom. We look forward to continuing to work with our sponsors, sales associates and store guests to support our servicemen and women and their families all year long.”
Donations from the campaign will directly support the USO, lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families around the world; Wounded Warrior Project, honoring and empowering injured servicemen and women; and six state-based military support organizations.
For the second year in a row, Salute Our Troops is one of the largest grassroots fundraising initiatives in the USO’s more than 70-year history.
The other Salute Our Troops beneficiaries 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.
Donations will build on those collected during the 2011 Salute Our Troops campaign to continue to support our military and their families. These donations have helped to operate 12 USO centers and three USO military family support programs. They also helped Wounded Warrior Project programs designed to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. In addition, thanks to Salute Our Troops donations, 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.
More than 200 Salute Our Troops celebrations were held at Kangaroo Express stores and community events throughout the southeastern U.S. led by the Salute Our Troops Caravan. Celebrations included custom military vehicles and the Salute Our Troops Command Center, where store guests had the opportunity to add their own voice of gratitude with “shout outs” of pride and appreciation. More than 3,000 “shout outs” are showcased on the Salute Our Troops Website at www.KESalute.com to share with troops and families around the world.
Salute Our Troops presenting sponsor, PepsiCo was the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express’ fundraising goal. “We are proud to once again join Kangaroo Express in this annual campaign that, for the second year, has provided record-breaking 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 Pantry operates 1,589 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.