STATE COLLEGE (April 14, 2023) — With not a cloud in the sky, early spring felt like mid-summer, and the mood was equally wrapped up in the heat–Firehouse heat–outside of Nittany MinitMart’s corporate headquarters in State College.
The press event officially marked the start of Nittany MinitMart’s fourth annual Fire Company Fundraiser, an effort put on by the State College-based convenience retailer to raise funds for local volunteer fire companies in the areas in which they do business. Last year, the fundraiser raised nearly 120 thousand dollars.
This year, Nittany hopes to raise more than 150 thousand dollars, a number that could be crushed based on overwhelming support from the public and key sponsors, Pennsylvania Skill and Pace-O-Matic.
Friday’s event featured Penn State legend Lavar Arrington, who came on behalf of Pennsylvania Skill games to support Nittany’s 2023 fundraiser, “Fuel the Cause.”
“You have to have honor, you have to have courage, you have to have some intestinal fortitude to do the things that our men and women of service do when they respond to emergencies,” Arrington said, flanked by local fire personnel. “We [football players] don’t run into burning buildings, but we do know something about defense. Everything has to have defense, and our communities’ defense is standing behind us.”
The two-time First Team Penn State All-American at Penn State brought current Nittany Lion linebackers Sophomore Abdul Carter and Junior Curtis Jacobs to show support. They each spoke, briefly thanking local fire companies and encouraging the public to support Nittany and Pennsylvania Skill in their efforts.
MinitMart is donating one cent of every gallon sold at its 27 locations throughout April and May. Pennsylvania Skill is matching the donation. Supporters can also round up their purchases at the register, donate in-store at kiosks, and online on the MinitMart app. In May, Nittany will begin offering various items at checkout with proceeds going to the fundraiser, including official campaign t-shirts.
In attendance for the press event were representatives from local fire companies. Shawn Kauffman, Fire Director from Alpha Fire, and Shawn Agosti, Deputy Chief of Pennfield Fire. Nittany is raising funds for dozens of volunteer fire companies throughout the state in the communities they serve.
While Friday marked the media’s opportunity to hear about the event, Nittany began raising funds on April 1, primarily with its push to fill up on gas and round up at the register. The campaign officially ends on May 31.
“If we don’t come together and raise the funding for our firefighters, it doesn’t get done,” Arrington said. ” We’re counting on them to come and save us, but what if they don’t have what they need? That’s why this campaign is so important.”