Pilot Flying J Donates $100,000

Honors military veterans through Wreaths Across America.

Wendy Hamilton (center), representing Pilot Flying J, meets with Wreaths Across America founders Karen Worcester (left) and Morrill Worcester (right) at the rally before the annual wreath-laying ceremony.

This holiday season, hundreds of thousands of wreaths were placed on the tombstones and memorials of the nation’s fallen heroes thanks to Wreaths Across America (WAA).

With the help of professional drivers and customers across the nation, Pilot Flying J was proud to contribute $100,000 to the WAA campaign to honor the men and women who gave their lives to defend our country.

In October, the company announced its “Cup with a Cause” campaign, which donated $3 from every $4.99, limited-edition travel mug purchased by customers at Pilot Travel Center or Flying J Travel Plaza locations across the U.S. In December, Pilot Flying J donated $100,000 to WAA to assist the non-profit organization in coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and nearly 800 additional veteran cemeteries and memorials across the country and overseas.

“We are overwhelmed with the support and patriotic gesture by people from all over the country and by altruistic companies like Pilot Flying J,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “We’ve been fortunate to have great relationships within the trucking industry and know the generous nature of the drivers and others in the industry, so it was no surprise to us that Pilot Flying J and its customers wanted to get involved. But we were overwhelmed by Pilot Flying J’s $100,000 donation. By honoring our veterans with the simple gesture of placing a remembrance wreath, Pilot Flying J helped us provide comfort and pride to so many families whose loved ones sacrificed for our country.”

WAA and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) earlier in 2012 announced a partnership through which TCA helped dispatch drivers and coordinate logistics of wreath delivery across the country.

“This cause is very special to all of us at Pilot Flying J, and it’s special to our customers and our friends in the trucking industry,” said Jimmy Haslam, chairman of Pilot Flying J. “We are proud and humbled to support Wreaths Across America and to help honor our nation’s fallen heroes.”

The WAA program started in 1992 and has grown ever since to include more volunteers, more locations and more wreaths. This December, a total of more than 420,000 wreaths were placed to honor U.S. veterans, including 110,662 wreaths placed on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.

Wendy Hamilton, senior national account marketing manager for Pilot Flying J, attended the WAA annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington on Dec. 15.

“We arrived at Arlington with the convoy of semi-trailer trucks carrying thousands of wreaths, and thousands of people had lined the streets welcoming the volunteers,” Hamilton said. “It was a humbling and inspiring display of respect and gratitude for our nation’s military heroes and for their families. Not only during the holidays but year round, we will take to heart the organization’s mission to ‘Remember, Honor, Teach.’”

“Cup with a Cause” mugs are still available for purchase. As a token of appreciation for customers who support the “Cup with a Cause” campaign, each travel mug includes a coupon for a free refill. Customers can redeem the coupon for any premium coffee or cappuccino selection.




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