High-Fiving Heroes

Convenience stores around the country celebrated local heroes during the fifth annual 24/7 Day.

High-Fiving Heroes

October 2023   minute read

By: Sarah Hamaker

Convenience stores and first responders, medical personnel, 9-1-1 professionals and Red Cross volunteers all work around the clock to ensure people don’t face emergencies alone. To celebrate these local heroes, convenience retailers around the country celebrated 24/7 Day on Monday, July 24, by thanking the men and women who are on the frontlines every day helping their communities. Hosted by the NACS Foundation, 24/7 Day commemorated its fifth consecutive year of raising awareness and donations for the American Red Cross.

“Just like first responders, convenience stores and their workers provide essential services while also acting as a reliable and safe hub for members of their community to connect, socialize and share,” said Stephanie Sikorski, executive director of the NACS Foundation. “So much of the work that both first responders and convenience store workers do is not seen by the public. This celebration was created to shine a bright light on their service, showing them that we see how much they do and saluting them for their incredible efforts.”

Interested in participating? Find out more at conveniencecares.org.

This year, more than 30,000 convenience store locations participated in 24/7 Day, joined by Anheuser-Busch and Reynolds as key supplier partners and GSTV as the official media partner. “This is the only day that celebrates the partnership between the convenience store industry and those on the frontlines of our communities,” Sikorski said.

Here are snapshots of some of the ways retailers and suppliers gave their local heroes high-fives on 24/7 Day.

Honoring Service

This year, Anheuser-Busch, with the support of its brands Budweiser and Bud Light, joined the event as a key supplier partner. “Showing up for our communities and first responders has long been part of Anheuser-Busch’s legacy,” said Ramona Giderof, vice president of convenience and military at Anheuser-Busch. “We are grateful to participate in this year’s NACS Foundation 24/7 Day to honor those on the frontlines and work with our convenience store partners to shine a light on their service.”

From July 1 through August 31, Anheuser-Busch donated a portion of every Budweiser and Bud Light case sold to Folds of Honor, which has partnered with the company for more than a dozen years. Folds of Honor provides educational scholarships to the families of military personnel who have fallen or become disabled while serving our country. The organization recently expanded this scholarship program to include the families of first responders, including paramedics, EMTs, police and fire.

We see our convenience stores as community stores.”

“Convenience stores are essential to our communities and are integral to our business,” Giderof said. “We have great partners in NACS and our retailers that are crucial to helping millions of consumers across the country discover our products.”

Spreading Positivity

For TXB, a chain of more than 50 locations across Texas and Oklahoma, participating in 24/7 Day is an extension of its community focus. “We see our convenience stores as community stores,” said CEO Kevin Smartt. “Most of them are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Not only are we serving hundreds of guests each day and night, but we may be one of the only available options for first responders and medical personnel. We are that resource for them so they can continue serving in all their various capacities.”

To celebrate first responders, TXB gave away food, beverages and swag, including mugs, t-shirts, hats, tote bags and coffee.

“First responders, medical personnel and volunteers go above and beyond every single day to keep our communities safe and healthy,” Smartt said. “We are super grateful for their service and love this opportunity to be able to give back and support them.”

Saying Thanks

For High’s Stores, a 60-unit chain operated by Carroll Motor Fuels in Maryland and the surrounding states, being part of 24/7 Day gave them the chance to say thank you to first responders and American Red Cross volunteers. “At High’s, we understand the importance of not only serving but being part of the community,” said John Phelps Jr., vice president of marketing. “We’ve made it a point to give back and help the communities we serve, and are always looking to support community events like 24/7 Day.”

To celebrate first responders and volunteers, High’s offered a free hot or cold beverage on July 24. In addition, the company donated 10 cents from all dispensed beverage sales during the month of July to the American Red Cross. “All of our associates were also extremely grateful to be able to say thank you to these first responders in our communities that provide meaningful services all throughout the year,” Phelps said.

Giving back ... is a tradition and point of pride at Reynolds.”

High’s carries the 24/7 Day legacy all year long through its support of first responder events like the Howard County Police Pace 5K and donating coupons to the American Red Cross for free quarts of ice cream to those who donate blood.

Giving Back

As part of 24/7 Day, Reynolds made a corporate donation of $25,000 to American Red Cross disaster relief efforts, as well as posting on social media and engaging with employees across the organization with articles and digital signage to raise awareness and show support for community heroes. “Giving back through corporate and foundation giving is a tradition and point of pride at Reynolds,” said Walter Farabee, senior community engagement and ESG reporting manager for Reynolds.

Reynolds wanted to support its long-standing relationship with NACS as well as its long-term partnership with the American Red Cross through its 24/7 Day involvement. “The importance of convenience stores within our industry and our community as a whole cannot be overstated,” Farabee said. “Year after year, convenience stores remain the number-one place where consumers seek our products, and we remain committed to supporting our community partners.”

Continuing the Tradition

St. Romain Oil Company’s Y-Not Stop has participated in 24/7 Day since the first one. “Our stores are in rural Louisiana, and in these small towns, the police and fire departments are such a big part of the community,” said Amanda Austin St. Romain, marketing director for the 14-unit chain. “We depend on them as they depend on us to be open, so it was a natural fit for us to be involved with 24/7 Day.”

Y-Not Stop honored first responders and their support staff, plus 9-1-1 dispatchers, EMS and electrical linemen, with a free two-piece chicken tender dinner with small wedges and any size fountain drink. “We took a wide approach to honor anyone who would respond to the scene of a disaster,” St. Romain said.

In our communities, we’re often the only business open 24/7.”

“In our communities, we’re often the only business open 24/7 to provide service to first responders who either are working an overnight shift or responding to a disaster,” she said. The chain carries the spirit of 24/7 Day throughout the year through its similar events for teacher appreciation, healthcare workers and military veterans.

2024 and Beyond

This year’s 24/7 Day shows how far the reach of convenience stores can be when they band together to celebrate hometown heroes. “The NACS Foundation’s 24/7 Day was conceived as a way to provide first responders with a token of appreciation and gratitude from one of their largest supporters—the convenience store industry,” Sikorski said. “This event unifies the collective efforts of tens of thousands of convenience stores that honor and thank those who work 24/7 with items like a hot cup of coffee, a cold beverage or a breakfast sandwich.”

The NACS Foundation welcomes more retailers to join 24/7 Day in 2024. “The wider the reach we can have across our industry, the more people will hear our message of how important convenience stores are to their communities,” said Sikorski.

Handing Out High Fives

Convenience stores are an integral part of everyday life across the United States, often being the only retailer open in the overnight hours for first responders and medical personnel working the overnight shift. This year, thousands of convenience stores participated in 24/7 Day to honor those frontline workers. Here’s a list of retailers who high-fived first responders during the 2023 24/7 Day.

• 1 Stop

• 7-Eleven and DK (limited locations)

• Admiral

• Allsup’s

• Apple Market

• Au Energy, LLC – Loop Neighborhood Stores

• Bread & Butter Shops

• BreadBox

• Casey’s

• Certified Oil


• Corner Mart

• Cumberland Farms

• Dixie Mart

• Enmarket

• Express Stop

• ExtraMile

• E-Z Mart

• Fas Mart

• Fastmarket

• Fastrac

• Flash Market

• Garrett’s Family Market and Rapid Refill Convenience Stores

• G&M Food Mart

• Handy Mart

• High’s

• Jaco Oil – Fastrip

• JBDewar Inc. – Pride Pacific

• Jetz

• Jiffi Stop

• Jiffy Stop Food Marts

• Kum & Go

• Kwik Shop

• Lemmen

• Li’l Cricket

• Loaf N’ Jug

• Loop Neighborhood Markets

• Market Express

• Minit Mart

• Next Door Store

• OnCue

• Pride

• Quarles

• Quik Stop

• R-Store

• RaceTrac

• Roadrunner Markets

• Rose Mart

• Rutter’s

• Scotchman

• Sheetz

• Shore Stop

• Sprint

• St. Romain Oil Co./ Y-Not Stop

• The Convenience Group

• The Hub Convenience Stores

• The Markets of Tiger Fuel Company

• Tom Thumb

• Town Star


• Turkey Hill

• Uncle’s

• Village Pantry

• Wawa

• Yesway

• Young’s

Sarah Hamaker

Sarah Hamaker

Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer, NACS Magazine contributor, and romantic suspense author based in Fairfax, Virginia. Visit her online at sarahhamakerfiction.com.

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