PARKERSBURG - The West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association has raised $161,466 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The organization also raised $255,000 in 2013 for organizations that help West Virginia children and more than $1.8 million since 2003 for charities that improve the health, safety and wellbeing of children.
"Our members, as well as the West Virginia public, truly get behind these efforts to help our children. The results of our August Make-A-Wish Foundation campaign and our April Children's Home Society effort prove this out," Jan Vineyard, president of O.M.E.G.A., said. " This is all about making a difference in a child's life and we are very appreciative of the public who graciously supported this effort."
O.M.E.G.A. represents convenience stores, independent grocers and petroleum marketers across West Virginia.
Vineyard said that all the funds raised through the Make-A-Wish Foundation campaign will go to the southern and northern West Virginia Chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and will be used solely to grant children's wishes.
Wish stars were sold for $1 at nearly 600 O.M.E.G.A.-member convenience and grocery stores across the state.
The Par Mar Convenience Store on Division Street in Parkersburg sold more than 4,000 wish stars, the highest total of any individual store across the state.
In addition, a golf outing was held at Stonewall Resort on Wednesday, September 18 where many corporate sponsors, such as ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing, Little General Stores, Inc., Marathon Petroleum Co., One Stop, Par Mar Oil Co., Sledd Co., among others, donated tens of thousands of dollars to the cause.
"Make-A-Wish opens up a world of possibilities for children with life-threatening medical conditions and asks them to dream the unimaginable," Leandra Hickman, regional manager for the Northern West Virginia Make-A-Wish Foundation, said. "We then work to make the impossible come true not just a nice experience for a day, two days or a week, but a life-changing experience that improves the quality of life for the child and his or her family. With O.M.E.G.A.'s help, many more children in our region will have this opportunity. We are very thankful for their participation."
Local Par Mar stores through O.M.E.G.A. raised more than $21,000.
"Through the generosity of our customers and dedication of our team members we were truly able to support this great cause one star at a time! The effort by all is truly amazing," Sandra Morgenstern, president of Par Mar Oil Co. "This is all about making a difference in a child's life and we are very appreciative to our customers and employees."
Wish stars were sold at all 52 Par Mar store locations. This year's campaign set a record for Par Mar Stores for not only having the highest individual location with the most funds raised but raising the most as a chain with the other chains participating with OMEGA in this fundraiser.