PARKERSBURG - Patrons at local Par Mar convenience and gasoline stations starting on Friday can fuel their cars while fueling their brains.
Par Mar and The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Friday will begin a promotion where the purchase of at least eight gallons of gasoline will include the day's edition of The News and Sentinel, the leader in news coverage in Parkersburg, Marietta and environs.
"This is a good promotion," said Susan Earley, retail marketing and promotions supervisor for Par Mar. "It's a way to get people into our stores."
Joe Tranquill, left, circulation director for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, and Dana Mossor, manager at Par Mar on Division Street in Parkersburg, prepare for a promotion at local Par Mars where a newspaper is included with the purchase of at least eight gallons of gasoline. The promotion starts on Friday.
Technology has changed the way many things are done, making tasks easier and more convenient, such as enabling payment for gasoline at the pump, she said. The promotion is a way to increase the interaction with customers who otherwise would pump and leave.
"This way it gets them inside our stores and makes it easier for customers to see what we have to offer," Earley said.
Joe Tranquill, circulation manager of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, said the promotion is among the most successful for the newspaper and the convenience store.
"It increases foot traffic into Par Mar stores by utilizing an excellent product like the newspaper," he said.
The promotion will last through the end of the year, Tranquill said. A newspaper will be included in the purchase of eight gallons of gasoline every day of the week, he said.
Par Mar stores in the region will participate in the promotion and be involved in a newspaper contest to see who provides the most newspapers in the promotion, Tranquill said.
Par Mar encourages community involvement, Earley said.
Through the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, a kickoff will be held from 2-4 p.m. Friday for a statewide fundraiser for Make-A-Wish at Par Mar, 720 Division St., Parkersburg.
Hot dogs and cotton candy will be available for a $1 donation, of which the proceeds go to Make-A-Wish, and science fiction movie characters will participate in the kickoff, said Dana Mossor, manager of the Division Street store.
"For a $1 donation, kids can have their picture taken with them," Mossor said.
Mossor has been growing a beard since Aug. 25, 2013, when the last Make-A-Wish kickoff was held at the store.
His goal is to sell 1,000 Make-A-Wish stars on Aug. 18, 19 and 20. Upon reaching the goal, his beard and hair will be shaved off in recognition of reaching the goal.
"My wife will bring the clippers and they'll shave it all off," he said.
An 8-year-old from Parkersburg with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will participate in the kickoff and discuss his wish and the Make-A-Wish program.
"Last year, this campaign raised over $161,000 which resulted in dozens of wishes being granted to children in our state," Jan Vineyard, president of the marketers group, said. "We hope to do even better this year."