C-Stores Seek Heroes and Celebrate Summer Road Trips

The Wawa Foundation offers a $50,000 grant; Pilot Flying J touts National Road Trip Day.

May 21, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—While stay-at-home orders drag down the soul, c-stores are working on ways to bring people up through various promotions and non-profit donations that involve their customers’ input.

The Wawa Foundation, a non-profit arm of the Pennsylvania-based convenience chain, is accepting nominations for the 2020 Wawa Foundation Hero Award now through June 4, the company has announced.

The annual award honors a non-profit organization in the Philadelphia area that meets community challenges by providing services that protect others, preserve independence and provide care and life-saving support to those in need.

Qualified non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations are invited to share a story or video about their impact on the Philadelphia community, including mission, purpose and services, through The Wawa Foundation website. The four most compelling stories will be selected for public viewing and voting between June 10 and 29. The organization receiving the most votes will be submitted to The Wawa Foundation Hero Award Panel for confirmation. Once confirmed, that organization will be presented The Wawa Foundation Hero Award and a $50,000 grant during the city’s July 4 Celebration of Freedom Ceremony. Runners-up each receive $10,000.

The Wawa Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that focuses its support on organizations committed to health, hunger and everyday heroes.

Tomorrow, May 22, is National Road Trip Day, and Pilot Flying J knows that many quarantined drivers are ready to make summer travel plans.

Although stay-at-home orders are still in effect in some areas, a late-April survey commissioned by Pilot Flying J through OnePoll found that many Americans want to travel this summer once they feel safe from COVID-19 exposure. Almost half (44%) of respondents reported using their time in quarantine to plan future trips, with 88% having at least one trip mapped out for summer. The survey also found that 35% of respondents would prefer to drive due to concerns about air travel. Respondents said they would be willing to add an average of six hours and 38 minutes to their trip by opting to drive.

A summer trip may seem long overdue, too, given that two-thirds (66%) of respondents had to cancel or postpone vacations because of the pandemic, and 54% said they have not left their home state in two or more years.

National Road Trip Day, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, was established last year by Pilot Flying J and National Day Calendar as the official start of summer road trip season.

Pilot Flying J wants to help with road trip expenses. Through tomorrow, people can visit Pilot Flying J social channels to participate in the chain’s Road Trip Reimagined campaign by sharing different ways to enjoy the open road, favorite road-trip memories and ultimate road trip destinations. Each day this week, Pilot Flying J is giving away a $500 gift card to fuel future road trips.

“As the nation continues its road to recovery, we know many people are thinking about ways to safely enjoy summer vacations,” said Whitney Haslam Johnson, chief experience officer for Pilot Flying J. “We hope this National Road Trip Day will inspire people to discover new places to visit once they are ready to get back on the road. Our travel centers will be open with everything they need for a successful road trip, from clean bathrooms to everyday items and a large selection of snacks, food and beverage offerings.”

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.