RaceTrac convenience stores in the southeastern United States partnered with MJFF during National Parkinson's Awareness Month to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's disease research. More than $130,000 was raised, all of which was doubled by the Brin Wojcicki Challenge. We wrote about the partnership in the fall 2011 issue of our newsletter, Accelerating the Cure. Read below or click here to see the entire fall issue.
Visitors to RaceTrac convenience stores often see a lot of red, the company’s flagship color, at the gas pump and inside the store. But last April, they were also seeing a lot of orange.
To do its part for National Parkinson’s Awareness Month, RaceTrac partnered with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). Through the “Coffee for a Cause” campaign, all proceeds from the sales of coffee and specially marked chocolate bars at each of RaceTrac’s more than 300 stores were donated to MJFF. Those cups of coffee added up: RaceTrac raised more than $130,000 for Parkinson’s research. Thanks to the Brin Wojcicki Challenge, the funds will be doubled with a dollar-for-dollar match.
During the campaign, RaceTrac stores across Georgia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi were decked out with MJFF signage to educate guests about Parkinson’s disease (PD) — from fact sheets at gas pumps to coffee sleeves and counter mats.
“Parkinson’s touches millions of American families, including my own family and those of our customers and our colleagues,” said Allison Moran, RaceTrac senior vice president.
Allison speaks from personal experience. She’s the daughter of RaceTrac’s CEO, Carl Bolch, Jr., who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s several years ago. His father, Carl Sr., who founded the family business in 1934, also had the disease. Carl Jr. said his daughter took the initiative to partner with MJFF, telling him, “This is a family business, and for us, Parkinson’s is a family disease.”
He appreciates MJFF’s approach — that it’s dedicated to pursuing improved treatments to increase the quality of life of patients living with Parkinson’s today, as well as discovering a cure. From a business perspective, he values the Foundation’s unusual approach in building a staff with the core expertise to assess and prioritize the Parkinson’s research landscape on an ongoing basis. He also admires the Foundation’s commitment to promoting scientific communication and collaboration in service of transparency and faster results.
With over $260,000 raised, the RaceTrac–MJFF partnership is still going strong. Another campaign is under way this month, which focuses on encouraging people to get involved — especially through Fox Trial Finder (see story, page 1) and Team Fox. With more than 24 million visitors to RaceTrac stores each month, the possibility to increase awareness and participation in Parkinson’s research is vast.
“RaceTrac supports a number of nonprofit organizations. As one of them, The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s mission and operating ethics align with our own core values,” Allison Moran concluded. “Partnering with the Foundation has allowed us to give back in a meaningful way to the communities that support us.”