GPM Investments raised $244,263 for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular disorders in its eighth holiday pinup fundraiser in 2018 in partnership the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Approximately 1,400 GPM convenience stores throughout the East Coast and Midwest regions of the U.S. participated in the campaign, including fas mart, Admiral, Apple Market, BreadBox, E-Z Mart, Jiffi Stop, Jiffy Stop, Li’l Cricket, Next Door Store, 1-Stop, Roadrunner Markets, Scotchman, shore stop, Village Pantry, and Young’s.
Throughout December, customers purchased an MDA pinup for a $1 contribution to help speed up the development of treatments, receiving coupons as GPM’s “thank you.” All signed pinups were then displayed in each store.
Arie Kotler, GPM’s president and CEO, and Chris Giacobone, the company’s chief operating officer, presented the check at a fas mart store in Richmond, Virginia, to Joel Shaw; Louise Zingaro; Muscular Dystrophy Association‘s (MDA) executive director of Greater Virginia, and Niki Benfield, the association’s care and clinical services specialist.
“We are grateful to our generous customers and store employees for their donations and time, providing us the ability to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living with muscle dystrophy in our communities,” Kotler said in a press release.
Since the first campaign, in 2011, GPM’s partnership with the MDA has generated more $1.38 million for kids and adults with ALS, muscular dystrophy, and related neuromuscular diseases.
“GPM is committed to help give local kids with neuromuscular diseases the life changing experience of MDA Summer Camp where they can explore a world of independence,” Kotler said.
The Richmond-based company currently operates or supplies fuel to stores across a wide area that includes Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Along with providing opportunities for kids to attend the MDA Summer Camp, Zingaro said that the support received from GPM’s customers and employees “directly improves the lives of local MDA families.” Other benefits include having access to “MDA’s multidisciplinary Care Centers at top hospitals — [Virginia Commonwealth University], Children’s Hospital of Richmond, [University of Virginia], Children’s Hospital of Kings Daughters, and Carilion Clinic of Roanoke,” she said.
Through this program, Zingaro further said, communities and local associates help MDA fund “ground-breaking research and provide critical services to our families who are counting on us, paving a new path forward in understanding muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases and enabling innovations in research, treatment and care.”