Kangaroo Express, Coca-Cola Partner for Kids

Five-week fundraiser across three states aims to help send kids with chronic medial conditions to Kyle Petty’s Victory Junction for a once in a lifetime camping experience.

Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry Inc., an independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S., is partnering with Coca-Cola for a third consecutive year to send children to Victory Junction, a year-round camping environment for children ages six to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

The five-week fundraiser launches April 1 in more than 700 Kangaroo Express convenience stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Victory Junction was founded in 2004 by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their late son Adam.  The camp relies solely on donations from individuals and corporations like Kangaroo Express to give children a once in a lifetime camping experience. It costs $2,500 to send one child to camp for a week at camp at no cost to their families. For every customer that donates $1, Kangaroo Express will provide an official Victory Junction thank you card and a $0.50 discount coupon on 20- or 24-ounce Coca-Cola products.

“Kangaroo Express is proud to participate in programs and events that make such a huge difference in the communities we serve, such as sending children to Victory Junction,” said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing for Kangaroo Express. “Last year the campaign raised $200,000 and we are excited as we expect that donation to grow this year with an expanded region of stores participating in the campaign.”

All funds raised during this campaign will enable Kangaroo Express and Coca-Cola to sponsor children during two weeks of summer camp. On May 29, Kangaroo Express plans to present a check to Victory Junction at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Coca-Cola is proud to team up with Kangaroo Express to help Victory Junction achieve its mission of providing a life-changing experience for children with chronic medical conditions,” said Dan Holmes, vice president of marketing, Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated. “Over the past few years, Victory Junction has found an incredibly special place in our hearts.”

Kangaroo Express stores in Charleston, S.C., first began raising funds for Victory Junction in 2009. In 2010 the program was expanded to all of North and South Carolina and this year the company is proud to further expand the program by including stores in Virginia and supporting credit card donations.

“Victory Junction provides an experience of enrichment and camaraderie to children from across the country and we are so appreciative that once again this campaign will help us see as many children as we can in 2011,” said Brooke Hondros, director of development for Victory Junction. “No family incurs the expense of sending a child to camp due to the generous support of our volunteers and corporate donors like Kangaroo Express and Coca-Cola.”

The Pantry operates 1,672 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.

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