Circle K Florida Donates More Than $1 Million to UCP in 2011 & New Campaigns Deepen Connection to Those Served

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114 (direct), Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168 (direct),

CIRCLE K FLORIDA DONATES MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY SERVICE PROVIDER UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY IN 2011

Check Presentation Ceremony Commemorated Signature FishStix Event,
New Statewide Campaigns Deepen Connection to Those Served

Tampa, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), an international service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, accepted a $332,000 check during a check presentation ceremony last week at UCP of Tampa Bay. This donation from Circle K’s Florida’s FishStix event, an annual golf and fishing tournament, in addition to funds raised through canister donations throughout the year, brings Circle K Florida’s total contribution to UCP to more than $1 million in 2011. View photos at http://bit.ly/CircleK1MdonationUCP.

The check presentation ceremony included Circle K Florida and UCP executives from the Florida affiliates that benefit from Circle K Florida donations, representatives from UCP’s National office in Washington, D.C. and Circle K Florida 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 and explained, “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.

Craig Byrd, Executive Director of UCP of East Central Florida, noted that, “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.”

Ron Sanders, Regional Administrator for UCP of Tallahassee, explained that the Circle K support the affiliate receives helps to enhance its technology programs. “The reputation we have earned is that if you want to see high-tech technology impacting the lives of people with disabilities, go to UCP of Tallahassee. We have health care providers and legislators coming to see our work, and every single person who comes through, knows that it’s about Circle K and UCP.”

Norma Israel, Executive Director of UCP of Southwest Florida, brought one of her clients Lisa, who is featured in the “Adopt a Life” campaign. “Lisa is one of the hundreds of adults with disabilities we serve every day, which we would simply not be able to do without Circle K’s support. Because of our partnership with Circle K, Lisa is able to live on her own, care for her pets and has a job.”

Laura White, Associate Executive Director of UCP of Tampa Bay, also highlighted a client who is featured in the “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign, six-year-old Kara. “I recently heard Kara speak in full sentences, and when Kara came to us a year and half ago, she had no words. It is just a blessing for us to have the support of Circle K, which allows us to make a difference in the lives of so many.”

UCP-Circle K Partnership
When the Circle K Corporation purchased the UtoteM chain of convenience stores in 1984, Circle K 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.

“Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” & “Be a Star” Campaigns
In an effort to deepen Circle K’s connection to the communities it serves and increase support for UCP affiliates in the Florida region, 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. View all canister inserts online at: ucp.org/get-involved/whysupport/circle-k-adopt-a-child-adopt-a-life-campaign.

Be a Star Campaign
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.

This campaign reinforces Circle K’s philosophy of giving back to the communities of which they are a part, by inspiring individuals to support those in their community who need it most.

“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 Honors Circle K with Chair Award at 2011 Annual Conference
UCP presented Circle K with its Chair Award in recognition of a partnership that has spanned three decades and seen the convenience store chain donate tens of millions of dollars to the charity during the 2011 UCP Annual Conference. The Chair Award is UCP’s highest honor and is given by the Chair of UCP’s National Board of Trustees for exemplary commitment to UCP’s mission. This was a part of UCP’s annual Awards for Excellence, presented to UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through its affiliate network.

UCP presented the 2011 Chair Award to Mr. Jason Broussard, Vice President of the Circle K Gulf Coast Region, and to Mr. Darrell Davis, Vice President of the Circle K Florida Region. Since 1984, Circle K has made a profound difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Through the company’s canister program, special events and cause marketing efforts, Circle K employees have literally transformed thousands of lives and donated more than $40 million to UCP’s efforts.

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.”

“Corporate partnerships can have a dramatic impact on the work of organizations like UCP,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “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.”

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP and its nearly 100 affiliates advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. We work to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, we continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org

About Alimentation Couche-Tard and Circle K
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In North America, Couche-Tard is the largest independent convenience store operator (whether integrated with a petroleum company or not) in terms of number of company-operated stores.  It owes this foremost positioning to the 53,000 people working in its stores and executive offices and reaches annual revenues of over $15,8 billion.

Welcoming some 25 million visitors every week, its stores offer a broad mix of food products, beverages, other merchandise and services and motor fuel. Grouped under three main brands: Couche-Tard, Mac’s and Circle K, its neighborhood stores feature a friendly modern setting, and most of them are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The network has a total of over 5,800 stores, over 4,100 of which sell motor fuel. These stores are located across 10 Provinces of Canada in three geographic markets (East, Centre 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). In addition, a network of about 3,700 licensees extends in seven other regions worldwide (China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Mexico).

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