Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114,
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168,


Presentation at annual fundraising event underscores support

for people with disabilities in Florida communities

Fort Myers, Fla. (May 10, 2012) – Circle K Florida, the largest corporate supporter of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), presented UCP affiliates with an oversized check for $552,837.73 during an awards dinner and ceremony at the company’s FishStix 2012, an annual golf and fishing tournament at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers, Florida. The amount represents the proceeds that were raised from last year’s FishStix event and funds raised through canister donations and other in-store promotions from June 2011 – March 2012.

The check presentation ceremony included Circle K Florida executives, Regional Operations Directors and Store Managers; UCP executives from the Florida affiliates that benefit from Circle K Florida donations; and executives and staff from UCP’s national office in Washington, DC.

UCP shared a special video highlighting UCP clients from six UCP Florida affiliates that were featured in UCP and Circle K’s “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign this year. The campaign celebrates and promotes the tremendous difference that Circle K has made in communities across Florida by featuring the story and photo of a UCP client on each coin collection canister that lives in the region that that particular store serves. The campaign helps emphasize that Circle K customers who donate at the register are supporting those in their immediate community.

“Without Circle K’s support, there are many types of services that we provide that we couldn’t continue to provide. Circle K Florida has such a huge impact – hundreds of thousands of people are impacted by their support, just in our territory alone,” said Craig Byrd, Executive Director of UCP of East Central Florida, in the video.

“Circle K Florida cares deeply about the communities where we have stores and operate,” explained Darrell Davis, Vice President of Circle K Florida. “It is paramount for Circle K Florida to give back to the people that we serve, and our decades-long partnership with UCP will continue to raise funds that serve local people with disabilities, making Florida communities stronger and inclusive of everyone.”

“UCP is grateful to Circle K Florida for its unwavering support of our affiliates serving people with disabilities in their local communities,” said former UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett. “The partnership with Circle K Florida is unlike any other corporate partnership, because Circle K Florida’s culture has made fundraising for UCP a part of the company culture for thousands of Circle K employees over decades, significantly furthering UCP’s mission to advance independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

Acclaimed actress, comedian, author and disability advocate Geri Jewell was on hand to entertain attendees and celebrate the importance of Circle K Florida’s partnership with UCP. Ms. Jewell is best known as Cousin Geri on the NBC sitcom, “The Facts of Life” and was the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a prime time series. She began her career doing stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in 1978.

After her ground breaking role on “The Facts of Life,” she has appeared on such shows as “The Great Space Coaster,” the Emmy award-winning movie Two of a Kind, “Sesame Street,” “21 Jump Street,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Strong Medicine,” and the HBO hit series, “Deadwood.” Ms. Jewell just recently released her autobiography, I’m Walking As Straight as I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond. Just this week, the book was acknowledged with a first place prize in the memoirs category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Ms. Jewell entertained the audience with stories from her varied career in Hollywood and experiences as a person with a disability. She emphasized that the real disabilities in life are prejudice, negativity and hatred.

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.

Circle K and UCP use campaigns that aim to deepen Circle K Florida’s connection to the community and increase support for the UCP affiliates in the region. The “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign helps to celebrate and promote the tremendous difference that Circle K Florida has made in communities across Florida. Each coin collection canister in every Circle K Florida store features the story and photo of a UCP client living in the region, which each particular store serves. Circle K Florida customers donating at the register see a true example of one of the many UCP clients that their donation helps to support in the 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 raises 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:

The “Be a Star” campaign, ran last fall through the holiday season, whereby Circle K Florida patrons were able to purchase a “star” that includes coupons for in-store use on select products. The stars hung throughout the stores to help raise awareness of Circle K’s support of UCP, visualize the significant impact people can have in the lives of people with disabilities in their communities, and encourage other customers to support. This campaign reinforced Circle K Florida’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.

UCP presented Circle K with its 2011 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. 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, as 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.

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works 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, UCP will 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