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CountryMark Raises $54K For National Guard Family Readiness Groups
Updated July 7, 2015 6:48 AM
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(UNDATED) - CountryMark's Fueling Freedom event on June 26 raised more than $54,000 to support local National Guard Family Readiness Groups.

"We get really excited about this event because it is our opportunity to give back to local National Guard soldiers and their families, as well as spend time with the communities we serve," said CountryMark Vice President of Marketing Jon Lantz. "We just get so much out of this day."

Some 39 CountryMark-branded fuel stations in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio participated in CountryMark's Fueling Freedom program, where CountryMark and local branded dealers agreed to donate a dollar for every gallon of lubricants sold and 50 cents for every gallon of fuel pumped to the local National Guard Family Readiness Groups. This is the seventh year, CountryMark and CountryMark branded dealers have hosted Fueling Freedom. Sales this year were up 10 percent from last year, as a result of more stations participating and more customers purchasing CountryMark fuels and lubricants.

The CountryMark station in Mitchell, Indiana, grew their Fueling Freedom sales numbers the most of any of the participating stations. This station, owned by White River Co-op, sold 2,331 gallons - a 68% increase in their Fueling Freedom sales numbers as compared to the previous year.

"A few rain showers may have hampered sales a bit, but overall we had no complaints. It was a successful day for all involved," said White River Co-op Petroleum Department Manager Mike Riggins.

During the Fueling Freedom events, CountryMark employees and CountryMark branded dealers stood side-by-side with local National Guard troops pumping All-American fuel. In five hours, workers pumped 95,724 gallons of CountryMark fuel and sold an additional 351 gallons of CountryMark Advantage Lubricants. Of the 39 participating CountryMark stations, the Logansport, Indiana fuel station led with 5,530 gallons pumped during the Fueling Freedom event.

"We had great community support with active and retired military from other branches of the armed forces that wanted to help their brothers and sisters in arms and their families," said Mark Burch, who was the site coordinator for North Central Co-op's Logansport station. "You combine that with the event being sponsored by CountryMark and our local farmer-owned cooperative, and it just doesn't get any more American than that!"

The Friends of the Military were also on hand during the CountryMark-sponsored events talking with the public about the support they give to the families of deployed troops. Countless customers threw the change from their fuel purchases in donation boxes. In five hours, participating communities raised $4,490 additional dollars to support American troops and their families.

The CountryMark station in Enfield, Illinois, generated $2,833 for their local National Guard Family Readiness Group, which was the largest amount raised by any of the 2015 Fueling Freedom sites.

"It was one of those days that makes you proud to live in the Midwest," said David South, SynEnergy Partners' western region department manager. "Our pumps stayed busy. We filled fire trucks, semis, ambulances, police cars, pick-up trucks and cars all afternoon. We had customers that came back to our station 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 communities we serve."

CountryMark Retail Manager Gary Barrett agreed.

"It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share with the community our unique story about how CountryMark fuels are made from 100 percent American crude oil," said Barrett. "We start with Illinois Basin crude oil. We refine the crude oil 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.

The donations from the each participating Fueling Freedom site were given to the Family Readiness Groups at the National Guard unit closest to the fueling station. Family Readiness Groups support National Guard soldiers and their families.



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