Red Cross Names Stoeckel 2012 Citizen of Year

Wawa provides funds, merchandise, hosts blood drives, more

Howard Stoeckel

PHILADELPHIA -- The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Chapter recently honored Wawa Inc. CEO Howard Stoeckel with the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award.

For the past 30 years, the SEPA Chapter has honored local citizens for their outstanding leadership and commitment to our region's civic and charitable organizations, and this year was  no exception. The Red Cross honored Stoeckel for his strong support of Red Cross disaster relief and blood donations. For years, Wawa has given the SEPA chapter with all the water it provides to disaster survivors. Stoeckel and Wawa also stepped up to provide food to the shelters during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

Wawa pays for a multimedia campaign during "March is Red Cross Month" to help raise awareness and money for Red Cross social service programs. Wawa has been a major financial contributor to SEPA's Red Cross House Center for Disaster Recovery in University City.

Each year, Wawa provides grants that support disaster relief in all five states Wawa serves.

Wawa has also been conducting in-store campaigns supporting the Red Cross since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, raising millions of dollars for disaster victims near and far.

Additionally, over the last eight years, Wawa has hosted 584 American Red Cross blood drives, collecting more than 21,000 units of blood and helping to save approximately 65,000 lives across our region. In the last year alone, Wawa's efforts helped the Red Cross collect more than 4,700 units.

"Few organizations help us fulfill the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering like Wawa, led by Howard Stoeckel," said Red Cross SEPA CEO Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes. "But it's not just us they support. Howard and Wawa uplift this entire community in so many ways, which is why we are honoring them."

Wawa president Chris Gheysens said, "At Wawa, we are firmly committed to supporting the mission of the Red Cross to mobilize volunteers, provide humanitarian support and to help people when they need it the most. In Philadelphia alone, the Red Cross touches the lives of two out of three people every day with lifesaving services. We express our gratitude to the Red Cross and volunteers for the important and vital role they play in this community. I am extremely proud of Wawa's continued commitment to supporting the American Red Cross and our Associates' role in supporting and enabling these efforts, as well as Howard's leadership in making it possible."

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett added his congratulations as well. "Wawa has been an enormous proponent of advancing the mission of Red Cross," Corbett said. "Wawa and Howard Stoeckel openhandedness has ensured the health and well-being of countless Pennsylvanians and that makes their gifts priceless."

The Wawa, Pa.-based c-store chain operates nearly 600 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, of which more than 300 sell fuel.