Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry Inc. is helping connect U.S. military personnel based overseas to their family and friends at home as part of the Indy 500 Centennial Tour, a 10-day event that brings legendary Indy racing stars to U.S. military bases in Europe, the Middle East and an aircraft carrier at sea.
Departing from New York this week, the Indy 500 Centennial Tour aims to increase troop morale by bringing the excitement of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Indianapolis 500 directly to more than 10,000 service men and women stationed at the bases. They will have the opportunity to meet and connect with popular Indy drivers, such as Mario Andretti, Larry Foyt, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser Jr. The stars will travel more than 20,000 flight miles to pay tribute to the brave men and women serving our country.
As one of the leading sponsors, Kangaroo Express is hosting a dedicated Web site to capture the tour on film and share the experience with loved ones back home. Pictures showcasing individual soldiers and military personnel with the Indy stars and the custom two-seater race car will be posted daily on www.Indy500CentennialTour.com. Videos, including those from the perspective of the drivers, will also be posted.
Friends and family back home can also download a coupon for a complimentary cup of Bean Street Coffee while viewing pictures on the Web site. Coupons are redeemable at any Kangaroo Express location. The Pantry operates 1,672 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.
“From our employees to the communities we serve, Kangaroo Express enjoys numerous connections with the U.S. military. There are store associates and senior executives who are veterans themselves and others who have family and friends serving in the armed forces. Additionally, more than half of our stores are located within 25 miles of a military base,” said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing at The Pantry. “It is a privilege to partner with the Indy 500 Centennial Tour in saluting these brave military forces serving our country. We hope this will be the first of many new ways we show our appreciation and admiration.”
Additional Indy stars participating in the tour include Sarah Fisher, Jack Arute, Davey Hamilton, Cameron Haven and Martin Plowman.
“It’s hard for me to put into words how honored I am to be a part of this tour,” said Larry Foyt, currently a partner of management and operations of the A.J. Foyt Enterprises IZOD IndyCar Series racing team and son of four-time Indianapolis 500 champion, AJ Foyt. “To see the finest military in the world in action and shake the hands of soldiers who are putting their lives at risk every day to defend our liberties will be an experience I will never forget.”
“Kangaroo Express also recognizes the sacrifices made by family and friends back home. We look forward to sharing a cup of Bean Street Coffee with the many people who will view the Indy 500 photos and videos,” continued Fisher.
Kangaroo Express has also been a proud sponsor of the American Widow Project (AWP), contributing $39,000 in the last two years alone. AWP is a non-profit organization providing peer-to-peer support for military widows grieving the loss of a spouse in the Armed Forces.