GPM Sponsors Friendship Circle of Virginia’s Inclusion Day

The event brings awareness to disability inclusion and mental health.

September 02, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—GPM Investments LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ARKO Corp., recently sponsored the Friendship Circle of Virginia’s inaugural "Inclusion Day at The Diamond” during a baseball game between the Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The inclusive community event, held on Sunday, August 21, brought awareness to disability inclusion and mental health.

GPM Investments was the main sponsor of Inclusion Day, and its donation helped provide over 3,300 free tickets for the community. The event included increased accessible seating, kids field activities, ASL services, closed captioning, lower speaker volume and more. 

“We’re proud to support events like Inclusion Day that bring the local community together,” said Michael Bloom, executive vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer at GPM. “This is meaningful work, and it’s crucial to create spaces that facilitate disability inclusion, and to continue spreading mental health awareness.” 

Friendship Circle of Virginia raised about $45,000 at the event to help support its ongoing free programs for the community. Earlier this year, GPM Investments also sponsored the Walk N’ Roll fundraising event, which encourages participants to walk, roll, run, scooter or skate to raise money for the organization. 

“We are incredibly grateful to GPM’s fas mart for initiating the idea of Inclusion Day at the Diamond,” said Dr. Sarah Kranz-Ciment, executive director, Friendship Circle of Virginia. “We are humbled and thrilled to have been able to pull off an incredibly successful inaugural event and are looking forward to working together with The Flying Squirrels and GPM again to create an inclusive experience where family and friends can enjoy a ballgame together, some for the first time ever." 

Friendship Circle of Virginia is a non-profit organization that aims to create an inclusive community by facilitating friendships and social opportunities for people with and without disabilities to connect through meaningful social experiences at home and throughout the community.