What Could Make These C-Store Rivals Team Up?

Sheetz, Wawa providing food to U.S.S. Somerset commissioning ceremony attendees

U.S.S. Somerset Navy

PHILADELPHIA -- Pennsylvania rivals Wawa Inc. and Sheetz Inc., two of country's best-known convenience store retailers, are teaming up to provide more than 5,000 lunches to attendees at the commissioning ceremony of the U.S.S. Somerset in Philadelphia on March 1.

"This is an enormous enterprise that would not be possible without the support of such experienced companies in food preparation and service," said Thomas Metzger, president of the Philadelphia Council of the Navy League, which is the sponsor of the ceremony. "Funding for the ceremony is dependent on private donations and good corporate citizens like Wawa and Sheetz."

The box lunches will feature popular items from each company's menu and will be available free-of-charge following the ceremony. The guests will include nearly 2,000 members of the Somerset County community, 500 members of the ship's family, 500 family members of those who were on flight 93, as well local officials and leadership from Wawa and Sheetz.

The commissioning ceremony is a time-honored tradition that marks a ship's entry into the naval fleet. The vessel, which is currently moored at Penn's Landing on the Delaware River waterfront, commemorates Flight 93 which crashed in Somerset County after the crew and passengers thwarted a terrorist attack on September 11. It incorporates both a flight deck for helicopters and Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, in addition to a well deck for landing craft and amphibious vessels. It can carry up to 800 U.S. Marines and sailors.

"We at Sheetz are truly grateful to come together with Wawa in support of the U.S.S. Somerset commissioning ceremony. The entire Sheetz family is humbled by this extraordinary opportunity to honor the families of Flight 93 and recognize those who dedicate their lives to serving this great nation," said Joe Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz.

"On this solemn and extremely meaningful occasion, all of us at Wawa feel privileged to be a part of this ceremony, honoring those who serve our great nation and those who sacrificed during this tragic moment in our history," said Chris Gheysens, president and CEO of Wawa. "As a proud Pennsylvania-based company, we are honored to join together with Sheetz and pay tribute to these brave men and women of Flight 93. They will never be forgotten."

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz operates 466 locations throughout Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia.

Wawa Inc., with headquarters in Wawa, Pa., operates more than 600 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.