CountryMark system raises $64K for National Guard Family Readiness Groups
CountryMark’s Fueling Freedom events on June 24 raised more than $64,000 to support local National Guard Family Readiness Groups.
“These events were an opportunity for the community to come out and express their appreciation to local service men and women, and their families,” said CountryMark Vice President of Marketing Jon Lantz. "Military professionals, as well as their loved ones, make huge sacrifices on our behalf. Fueling Freedom provided a venue for many of us to say 'thank you'."
Some 43 CountryMark-branded fueling stations in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio participated in CountryMark’s Fueling Freedom program this year, where CountryMark and local branded dealers agreed to donate 50 cents for every gallon of fuel pumped to local National Guard Family Readiness Groups. This is the eighth year CountryMark and CountryMark branded dealers have hosted Fueling Freedom events. Sales this year were up 25 percent as a result of more stations participating and more customers purchasing CountryMark fuels.
The CountryMark station in Lebanon, Indiana, grew their Fueling Freedom sales numbers the most of any of the participating stations. This station sold 2,039 gallons – a 252% increase in their Fueling Freedom sales numbers.
“We had great weather this year and that made it easier for people to come out, fill up and thank our local National Guard representatives for their service to our country,” said Jason Hine, Co-Alliance Retail/Direct Ship Transportation Manager. “I was so impressed with the respect our customers had for the men and women who defend our country.”
During Fueling Freedom events, CountryMark employees and CountryMark branded dealers stood side-by-side with volunteers from local National Guard units to pump locally refined fuels for customers. In five hours, customers purchased 115,000 gallons of CountryMark fuel. Of the 43 participating CountryMark stations, the McLeansboro, Illinois, fuel station led with 5,425 gallons sold during their Fueling Freedom event. David South, a Petroleum Department Manager for SynEnergy Partners, organized the Fueling Freedom efforts in McLeansboro.
“We had tremendous community support,” said South. “Our local banks promoted the event, our government fleets came out in force, and the general public kept us busy all afternoon. At 5 p.m., we still had lines of cars and trucks waiting to buy fuel. Fueling Freedom was a chance for people in Hamilton County Illinois to come together and personally thank our men and women in uniform for their service to our country.”
Countless customers threw the change from their fuel purchases in donation boxes. In five hours, participating communities raised nearly $6,000 in donations to support American troops and their families.
“It was one of those days that makes you proud to live in the Midwest,” said Mike Riggins, White River Co-op’s Petroleum Department Manager. “Six of our CountryMark fueling stations participated in Fueling Freedom and these stations stayed busy all day long. We filled fire trucks, semis, ambulances, police cars, pick-up trucks and cars all afternoon long. We had customers that came back to our stations two and three times with different vehicles because they wanted to show their support for our local service men and women and their families. That is what is great about the Midwestern communities we serve.”
CountryMark Retail Manager Gary Barrett agreed.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share with the public our unique story about how CountryMark fuels are made from American crude oil,” said Barrett. “We start with American crude oil, refine it at our farmer-owned refinery in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, and deliver it to communities throughout the Midwest in the form of high quality gasoline and diesel fuels. It’s energy security. It’s American jobs. It’s a great American success story.”
CountryMark branded dealers who participated in the Fueling Freedom events included: AgBest, Ceres Solutions, Co-Alliance, Harvest Land Co-op, Jackson Jennings Co-op, Laughery Valley Co-op, North Central Co-op, Premier Companies, Shelby County Co-op, Superior Ag Resources, SynEnergy Partners, United Energy, Union County Co-op and White River Co-op.
Donations from each participating Fueling Freedom site were given to the National Guard Family Readiness Groups located closest to the participating fueling station. Family Readiness Groups help build National Guard unit morale, build unit retention and increase participation levels in family-related unit activities.