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Nittany MinitMart announced today it raised a record $117,549.70 through its “Help Us Help Them” campaign that benefits local volunteer fire companies. Hamlin Township Volunteer Fire Department, Mount Jewett Volunteer Fire Department, and Smethport Fire Company in McKean County will all directly receive funding assistance through this program.

“We want to thank everyone who contributed to our third annual fundraiser,” said Jim Martin, Nittany MinitMart CEO. “We are pleased to be able to step up and help these organizations that we all depend on in so many ways especially during this time of high inflation. Nittany MinitMart is a family-owned business, and we believe it is part of our responsibility to communities to help those who help us.”

The funds went to 35 volunteer fire departments in 11 counties within Nittany MinitMart communities. The funding will go toward firefighter training, equipment and much needed supplies, Martin added.

“We have great community support and I felt we could double last year’s total of $56,000, and the response was overwhelming,” said Nicole Masullo, Nittany MinitMart Division Manager. “The fundraiser beat all expectations and will make great things possible.”

Pennsylvania ranks in the top five states in the country with the highest percentage of volunteer fire departments. More communities throughout the state are served by volunteers than by career firefighters.

Nittany MinitMart partnered once again with Pennsylvania Skill, operator of skill games, to help meet the challenges local volunteer fire companies face daily. Nittany Energy donated a penny per gallon of gas sold at Nittany MinitMart convenience stores, April 1 through the end of May, with Pennsylvania Skill matching Nittany Energy’s donation.

“We are thrilled to be part of this great effort with Nittany MinitMart,” said Jeff Millay on behalf of Pennsylvania Skill. “Volunteer firefighters are the backbone of our communities and deserve our financial support.”

In the past, Nittany MinitMart held its “Help Us Help Them” fundraiser during May. This year it expanded the timeframe to April and May.

Patrons of the stores could purchase paper firefighter helmets for $1 or fire trucks for $5 that were displayed in the stores. Other promotional merchandise was sold with profits going directly to fire companies. Donations also came from Nittany MinitMart vendors, including Pepsi Co., Coca Cola, Yuengling, McAneny, Hershey, Herrs, Mars, JTM, DelGrosso Foods and Patties Foods.

This story originally ran in The Bradford Era on 07/19/2022.

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