If you polled the 4,765 people living in Marion and Hillsboro, Kansas, it would be hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by the generosity of the employees and management of Cooperative Grain and Supply. The co-op, which has Cenex retail locations in both towns, keeps busy with supporting the community and future co-op members.
“Community is key to our success long-term, and we want to give back to the community,” says Lyman Adams, manager of Cooperative Grain and Supply. “Being a co-op, it’s important to support community causes.”
Looking at the long list of contributions, it’s obvious that Adams and Ampride supervisor Laura Legg walk the talk. From sponsoring scholarships to volunteering at the after-prom party to donating hot dogs for teacher appreciation days, they’re passionate about enriching their communities. “You name it, we sponsor it,” says Adams.
“This is where we live,” adds Legg. “If you want to live somewhere nice, you need to invest in it, either a personal investment or a business investment. You have to put yourself into it.”
One of their biggest activities is the annual Fill the Boot Celebration, which benefits the local volunteer fire departments. Since 1999, the benefit has served as both fundraiser and community gathering. To raise funds for new equipment, firefighters pump gas and wash windows for donations. Firefighters also grill hot dogs donated by Cooperative Grain and Supply. Items donated by vendors are auctioned off. Some years they’ll even throw a bake sale into the mix. Last year, the Fill the Boot Celebration raised nearly $2,000.
Another favorite activity is the Christmas coloring contest. Around Christmas, children are invited to color a picture. “The whole store gets decorated for Christmas,” says Legg. They then randomly draw the names of two boys and two girls who receive gifts donated by the co-op. It’s fun to see the kids excited about their gift,” Legg adds.
“We appreciate the interaction with the people involved in the various groups that we work with and being able to help them because they’re all good causes,” says Adams. “It’s exciting to work with them and know you’re helping them in a positive way.”
Do you know someone who deserves recognition for his or her good deeds? Nominate them at cenex.com/tanks-of-thanks.
This is part of our Retailer Spotlight series, featuring Cenex retailers who go above and beyond to serve their communities.
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