Toys for Tots receives $43,178 gift from Maverik stores

Maverik Inc Red Rock region store managers present Toys for Tots Beaver and Iron counties coordinator with donation, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 18, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Maverik Inc. store managers from the Red Rock region presented a representative from the Toys for Tots Foundation with a $43,178 donation check Monday in front of their 200 S. Main St. store in Cedar City.

Maverik Inc Red Rock region Store managers present "Toys for Tots" Beaver and Iron County Coordinator with check for donation, location, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 18, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Maverik Inc Red Rock region store managers present Toys for Tots Beaver and Iron counties coordinator with donation, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 18, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The money came from a two-month fundraising campaign promoted between Nov. 1, 2014, and Jan. 1 throughout the district, Maverik Inc. District Manager Jenifer Morgan said. Each region got a chance to choose what organization they would be fundraising for, she said, and, for the managers who work under her, “Toys for Tots” was a slam-dunk.

“We’ve volunteered for the ‘Toys for Tots 5K,'” she said, “and so it’s been something that we’ve worked with… it was easy for us to pick Toys for Tots.”

Maverik stores raised $21,170, she said, and their parent company, FJ Management, essentially added a matching grant to the funds and then some.

Of all of the counties in her district, Morgan said the Iron County residents donated the most money to help Toys for Tots, raking in a total of $5,596, with $3,000 coming just from the 200 S. Main Street store.

All of the money collected came from the change left over from customer purchases, Morgan said. When a customer paid for their purchase, the cashier would ask them if they would like to donate the rest of their change to Toys for Tots, she said, meaning that donations ranged from 2 cents all the way up to small dollar amounts.

The fundraising was a fun activity for both employees and customers, said Maverik’s 200 S. Main St. store manager Courtney Mull. She made a chart to track the progress of donations and posted it on the wall so everyone could see it.

“Customers would come in every day and ask, ‘So, how are we doing?’” she said. “And I would just point them to the sign. They loved having it there where they could see how much was going into the account.”

Next year she plans on doubling the $3,000 raised in her store, Mull said.

“Really, I am so proud,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud of all of my stores; they did an amazing job.”

The donation Toys for Tots received Monday will account for more than half of the yearly goal for his region, Beaver and Iron counties Toys for Tots coordinator Jeff Lennert said.

“This is incredible,” he said, about having met more than half of his goal for 2015 only two months into the year.

His goal each year is $10,000, Lennert said, but he came up short in 2014 when he was only able to raise around $7,500. The good news was that there were about 120 fewer children applying for help than in previous years, he said.

“And we only received about 50 percent of our usually donated toys.”

Maverik Inc Red Rock region Store managers present "Toys for Tots" Beaver and Iron County Coordinator with check for donation, location, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 18, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Maverik Inc. Red Rock region store managers present Toys for Tots Beaver and Iron counties coordinator with donation, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 18, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The $5,596 that was raised in Iron County will stay in Iron County, he said, explaining how each county will get back the full amount of monies raised in their area to help the children Toys for Tots reaches in that community.

The portion of the money that came from matching grants goes directly to corporate offices, Lennert said. That money is later redistributed back into the original communities that donated as needed.

About seven or eight coordinators from Flagstaff to near Kingman, Arizona; regions in Nevada; and Washington County will get a portion of the donations, Lennert said.

“Whatever money was donated at their store is going back to them 100 percent – plus the matching money.”

Lennert presented each Maverik store manager from across the region who came to Wednesday’s Cedar City event with a Toys for Tots Christmas ornament as a thank-you memento.

The giant check Lennert was presented for public relations purposes was turned back over to the 200 S. Main St. store manager who said she would hang it on the wall so her customers can see what they have accomplished.

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Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

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