The West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association (OMEGA), an organization representing convenience stores, independent grocers and petroleum marketers across West Virginia, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, raised $168,507 to help grant the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions during the month of August, association representatives recently announced.
Additionally, the organization has raised over $259,000 in 2012 for organizations that help West Virginia children, and over $1.5 million since 2003 for charities that improve the health, safety and wellbeing of West Virginia children.
Jan Vineyard, president of OMEGA, said, "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. 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."
From left are Marissa Pedro, regional manager for Make-A-Wish Southern West Virginia; Jim Oppe, board chairman, West Virginia OMEGA and owner of Parkersburg Foodland Stores; Marti Riggall and Traci Nelson, West Virginia OMEGA; and Jan Vineyard, president, WV OMEGA.
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 OMEGA-member convenience and grocery stores across the state from Aug. 1 Aug. 30. Little General Convenience Stores sold the highest number of wish stars and single-handedly raised more than $23,000.
In addition, a golf outing was held at Stonewall Resort on Sept. 26 where many corporate sponsors, such as Little General Stores, Inc., ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing, Marathon Petroleum Company, Maxum Petroleum Company/One Stop, Sledd Company, Prima/7-Eleven, Par Mar Stores and others, donated tens of thousands of dollars to the cause.
Marisa Pedro, regional manager for Make-A-Wish Southern West Virginia, said, "Make-A-Wish opens up a world of possibilities for children with life-threatening medical conditions and asks them to dream the unimaginable. 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 OMEGA's help, many more children in our region will have this opportunity. We are very thankful for their participation."
For additional information, contact Jan Vineyard at (304) 343-5500, or visit the website at www.omegawv.com.