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WAWA, Pa., April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wawa, Inc. today announced this year’s Wawa Day celebration will honor its 55th anniversary in convenience retailing and the fifth anniversary of The Wawa Foundation. Wawa Day will be held on Thursday, April 11, and themed around high-fives for fulfilling lives! Wawa will celebrate the occasion by offering customers any size free coffee, chain-wide, all day! Throughout the day, Wawa expects to give away more than 2 million free cups of coffee to customers at its more than 840 stores across PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, FL and Washington, DC.
In April of 1964, Wawa entered the retail business when it opened its first convenience store in Folsom, PA. In April of 2014, Wawa celebrated its 50th anniversary in convenience retailing and marked the milestone with the first Wawa Day event, which included the launch of The Wawa Foundation, a 501c (3) non-profit organization founded to encompass most of Wawa's charitable giving. Since the Foundation’s inception, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have donated more than $66 million in support to causes related to health, hunger and everyday heroes.
This year’s April 11th Wawa Day celebration gives Wawa the opportunity to celebrate high-fives for fulfilling lives by toasting the community with free coffee and announcing five big reasons to celebrate, including our combined support of health, hunger, and everyday heroes, as well as Wawa’s growth and new innovations. As part of the Wawa Day celebration, The Wawa Foundation will announce three contributions of $1 million each to three of its national partners.
1. Health – The Wawa Foundation will announce a contribution of $1 million to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support LLS’s new Children’s Initiative, a groundbreaking clinical trial program aimed at delivering precision medicine therapy to children with cancer and funding research for a cure. The Wawa Foundation will be a founding partner of the initiative.
2. Hunger – The Wawa Foundation will announce a contribution of $1 million to Check Out Hunger to support 23 Feeding America Food Banks operating in Wawa’s markets. Proceeds to Check Out Hunger and Special Olympics (see below) come from The Wawa Foundation’s in-store customer donation campaign, and both campaigns recently surpassed the $1 million mark – the first time the in-store campaigns have achieved this milestone.
3. Everyday Heroes – The Wawa Foundation will announce a contribution of $1 million to Special Olympics to support programs for thousands of athletes involved with Special Olympics in NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, FL and Washington, DC. Funds for Special Olympics come from The Wawa Foundation’s in-store customer donation campaign recently surpassed the $1 million mark, as stated above.
4. Growth – Wawa will celebrate a historic year ahead in 2019, as it will open 63 new stores throughout the year across all six states and DC, including entry into new markets for Wawa in Miami, FL; and Ocala, FL, this spring.
5. New Innovations – Wawa is continuing to push the boundaries of customer access by meeting customers where they live and on their terms. This will include new store-level catering menus and packaging available the first week of May, and the addition of new delivery territories and enhanced technology throughout the year designed to make the customer experience more convenient than ever.
“Wawa Day gives us a wonderful opportunity to step back and thank the millions of customers we’ve served over the past 55 years, who have made us an integral part of the communities we serve,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa President and CEO. “This year’s Wawa Day is particularly special because we are also celebrating that, in just over five years, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have already surpassed our initial giving goal and continue to support more organizations and communities across our operating area. We could have never achieved this level of support for such meaningful partners alone, and thank all of our customers who gave generously to our in-store campaigns and make everything we do possible. Happy Wawa Day, everyone, and cheers to 55 years of fulfilling lives!”
Also, as part of Wawa Day, Wawa will be celebrating its associates with in-store digital tributes featuring photos of the many “Day Brightener” associates at Wawa who embody the spirit of community service and volunteering. This comes as a part of our celebrating National Volunteer Week. So many Wawa associates go out into their communities to make a difference in the lives of the people Wawa serves.
About Wawa, Inc.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 840 convenience retail stores (over 600 offering fuel), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. The stores offer a large fresh foodservice selection, including Wawa brands such as custom prepared hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, specialty beverages and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks. In 2018, Wawa was recognized in Forbes as one of The Best Employers for New Grads and one of The Best Employers for Women, and as the Top Rated Workplace for Veterans by Indeed. In 2019, Wawa was designated by Forbes as a Best Employer for Diversity.
About The Wawa Foundation
The Wawa Foundation is an extension of Wawa’s commitment to making the world a better place by fulfilling customers’ lives every day. The Wawa Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded by Wawa, Inc. to support the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities – and ultimately to help build happier, stronger communities. The Wawa Foundation focuses its support on organizations committed to health, hunger and everyday heroes through local, regional and national grants and in-kind donations. Since 2014, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have donated more than $66 million to causes supporting health, hunger and the heroes who serve our communities every day.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2fede457-879d-4ce1-ac24-9dae8e495c13