Huck's Supports Charity, Supports a Friend

Fundraiser gives industry effort a healthy start toward goal

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

This Huck's store raised $1,800 for MSA research.

CARMI, Ill. -- Huck's Convenience Stores are no strangers to collecting money for charity, and when a personal story of need came to light, the chain was quick to mobilize to make a difference.

During March, Huck's sold wristbands and cards for $1 each to help fund research to find a cure for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). MSA will be the focus charity for CSP's CARRE Foundation during the Outlook Leadership conference in November.

As one of three retailer co-chairs for CARRE (Charitable Alliance of Restaurant & Retail Executives) at Outlook, Huck's CEO Todd Jenney tackled the challenge early and achieved remarkable results.

"We learned that March was National MSA Month, so that's why we chose March to start early and get the fundraising going," Jenney told CSP Daily News. "My folks just blew me away. I was so amazed at what they were able to do in such a short time."

Huck's, a Carmi, Ill.-based chain of 113 stores owned and operated by Martin & Bayley, raised more than $33,000 during the month, giving the CARRE Foundation a healthy push toward its conference goal.

"Our goal is to fund research, and this takes hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Kay Segal, senior vice president of continuing education for CSP Business Media. "Huck's supports many causes, so to have them tackle MSA and single-handedly take us so quickly toward a lofty goal is really great! We know our industry is filled with caring companies and individuals and this is one stellar example."

Jenney said he was happy to do it, especially after learning the rare neurodegenerative disease, into which little research has been done, has affected the lives of two well-respected industry members: Rex Griswold of Nestle Waters North America and Tom Gillard, formerly of Tropicana, Quaker and MetRx.

"We just think the world of the Nestle Waters team, and Rex got things started between Nestle and us," said a clearly passionate Jenney. "Now they're like family. I know his wife Traci and the kids and just have grown to love them over the years.

"I was just blown away when he told me about MSA and the fact that there's really nothing in the way of treatment or even research. So we just wanted to find out what we could do."

Click here to hear Griswold's story and to make a donation.

Huck's annually raises thousands of dollars to fund charities that aid children in need, most regularly Karing for Kids, which provides Christmas presents to children who otherwise wouldn't receive anything for the holiday. And this month, Huck's is raising funds as part of its June participation in a local Relay for Life to benefit the fight against cancer.

"We conduct fundraisers year round; in fact, it's part of our mission statement," Jenney said. "It's just about giving back to our communities and the people who shop at Huck's. … These things don't put any measurable money on the bottom line, and that's not the intent of them. But I do think it makes us a better company. And it's the right thing to do, especially when you can help a good friend like Rex, who's been diagnosed with something as terrible as MSA."

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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