Nov 21, 2011

Circle K Presents Check for $332,000 to United Cerebral Palsy

Circle K Presents Check for $332,000 to United Cerebral Palsy
Retailer has contributed more than $1 million to UCP in 2011; receives group's highest honor
CSP Daily News | November 21, 2011 TAMPA, Fla.-- From its FishStix event, an annual golf and fishing tournament, as well as from funds raised through canister donations throughout the year, Circle K presented a check for $332,000 to United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). The donation brings the convenience store chain's total contribution to UCP to more than $1 million in 2011.

The check presentation ceremony included Circle K and UCP executives from the Florida affiliates that benefit from Circle K donations, representatives from UCP's national office in Washington, D.C., and Circle K executives, regional operations directors and store managers.

Darrell Davis, who was appointed vice president of Circle K's Florida region in Spring 2011, welcomed everyone to the ceremony: "At its heart, Circle K is a group of committed individuals who care deeply for the communities where we operate. For more than three decades, our partnership with UCP has been one of the most important outlets for Circle K to give back to the people we serve. We look forward to strengthening our ongoing relationship with UCP and are extremely proud to play a role in providing a life without limits for people with disabilities."

Leaders from several UCP Florida affiliates remarked on the incredible impact Circle K's partnership has had on the work they do every day. Summing them up, Craig Byrd, executive director of UCP of East Central Florida, said, "In these trying economic times, you hear every day how the government is able to do less and less for the people in the most need in our community. We really rely on our community partnership with Circle K to help us continue to provide services that are so critical to hundreds of people with disabilities."

When Circle K Corp. purchased the UtoteM chain of convenience stores in 1984, management adopted UCP as the company's designated charity. Today, UCP remains Circle K's charity of choice in the Florida and Gulf regions. Circle K stands as UCP's largest corporate sponsor, having raised more than $40 million over the life of the partnership through coin collection canisters at retail sites and with special events like golf tournaments, casual days, bake sales and car washes.

Circle K and UCP have launched two new campaigns. Since September 1, the "Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life" campaign helps to celebrate and promote the tremendous difference that Circle K has made in communities across Florida. Unlike the earlier coin collection campaigns, each Circle K store now features the story and photo of a UCP client that lives in the region that that particular store serves. Circle K customers donating at the register now know they are supporting those in their immediate community.

This type of targeted campaign that ties donors to outcomes is designed to trumpet the good work of Circle K as a community partner and good corporate citizen. At the same time, it will raise public awareness of UCP and the services it provides to people with disabilities, and raise crucial funds that will change their lives for the better.

Beginning November 2 and running through the holiday season, Circle K patrons will have the opportunity to purchase a "star" that includes coupons for in-store use on select products. The star will be hung throughout the stores to raise awareness of Circle K's support of UCP, visualize the incredible impact that individuals can have on the lives of people with disabilities in their communities, and encourage other customers to support as well.

"We're excited to herald Circle K's deep philanthropy by showing people in the communities where a Circle K is doing business that their donations are impacting real lives in the towns and cities where donations are being collected," said Michael Hill, UCP's senior vice president for external affairs. "In this way, we shine a spotlight on the radical difference that Circle K is making in the lives of people with a spectrum of disabilities."

UCP presented Circle K with its Chair Award--its highest honor--during the 2011 UCP Annual Conference in recognition of its efforts. UCP presented the 2011 Chair Award to Jason Broussard, vice president of the Circle K Gulf Coast Region, and to Davis.

Bruce Merlin Fried, chair of UCP's national board of trustees, said it was an easy decision to honor Circle K. "We know that Circle K's philanthropic efforts make significant contributions in the communities where they have a presence, but for UCP, Circle K has been a central part of advancing the civil rights movement for people with disabilities. Few companies can claim that level of impact. We applaud Circle K for not only transforming lives but making a long-term commitment to UCP."

Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of UCP, said, "Corporate partnerships can have a dramatic impact on the work of organizations like UCP. But the partnership with Circle K goes beyond a partnership; it has literally been a cornerstone experience for thousands of Circle K employees for decades and the efforts of those employees have forever changed the lives of thousands of people with disabilities around the nation."

UCP educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., with annual revenues of more than $15,8 billion, has a c-store network of more than 5,800 stores. These stores--under three main brands, Couche-Tard, Mac's and Circle K--are located across 10 provinces of Canada in three geographic markets (East, Center and West), and across 43 American states and the District of Columbia in eight major markets (Great Lakes, Midwest, Southeast, Florida, Gulf, Arizona, West Coast, Southwest).