Maverik doubles Toys for Tots Foundation donation

Toys for Tots Foundation was presented with a donation for over $88,000 Monday by Maverik Inc., 220 Airport Road, Cedar City, Utah | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – For the second year in a row, store managers from Maverick’s Red Rock region, which encompasses most of Southern Utah and small portions of Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, presented representatives from the Toys for Tots Foundation with a sizable donation gathered by each store from community members and matched by the Maverick Inc. parent company, FJ Management.

Monday’s check for $88,794.94 — presented at the Cedar City Maverick on 220 N. Airport Road — more than doubled the funds donated by Maverik to the holiday charity in 2015.

The 70 stores throughout the Red Rock region collected $44,155 in donations, District Manager Jenifer Morgan said, adding that just over $10,000 came from Iron County stores. The store on Airport Road in Cedar City had the most donations of the 70 stores in the Red Rock region.

“This store collected $3,408,” Morgan said. “Just this store.”

Morgan said that after all of the funds were collected, FJ Management matched the totals to arrive at the amount presented on Monday.

Regional Manager Sam Campbell drove to Cedar City from Salt Lake City to support the event.

“It’s important to support the efforts of the whole team,” Campbell said. “There’s a lot of excitement going on surrounding this.”

This is Campbell’s first year acting as regional manager for the Red Rock area, and he said he didn’t know about the fundraiser until Morgan had shared with him what they do. “It’s been an exciting process to watch,” he said.

Morgan said that one of the most amazing things about the amount of money donated this year is that it was raised in only half the time as last year. In 2015, the effort was a two-month endeavor that spanned from Nov. 1 to Jan. 1. This year, however, Morgan said the donations were raised in only one month’s time.

“We only did fundraising from Nov. 27 until Christmas day this time because we wanted to keep it to the holiday season,” she said. “It was kind of crazy that we raised so much this time.”

Morgan said funds collected in the stores came from change left over from customer purchases. Donations ranged from 2 cents all the way up to small dollar amounts.

You’d be surprised what can be done with leftover change,” Morgan said, adding that customers in Iron County were particularly generous this year.

Each Maverik region is allowed to choose what charity they support each year. Morgan said one of the reasons Red Rock region chose the Toys for Tots Foundation is because each penny donated stays in the community from which it was donated.

The Toys for Tots coordinator from Beaver and Iron counties, Jeff Lennert, said it goes beyond the fact that the dollars earned in Iron County will stay in Iron County to help families. He said that every penny used to provide holiday help to Iron County families is also spent within the community to give the local economy a boost as well.

“We make sure that we spend every penny of that here,” Lennert said. “We bought $5,000 worth of toys at Ace Hardware this year. We bought probably $6,000 or $7,000 at Wal-Mart. We bought toys at Cal-Ranch.”

Lennert said they previously had to order company shirts from out of the area, but now they have found a distributor in Iron County to provide them as well, so every dollar spent is kept local.

Toys for Tots works hand-in-hand with all of the community holiday assistance programs in the region. Families who are in need can apply online.

The check presented to Toys for Tots on Monday will be split between all of the Toys for Tots programs in each area where the funds were raised based on the amounts collected in each of the 22 counties.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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