The annual Pilot Pumpers fundraiser for the United Way last month raised a record $63,478. Here’s the deal: during the three-day promotion at all area Pilot convenience stores, Pilot donates to United Way five cents for every gallon of gas sold and 10 percent of all in-store sales. To drum up interest in the event and attract more customers, more than 70 local celebrities — ranging from politicians to media personalities — pumped gas and gave customers free travel mugs and coffee. It was a blast.
Moxley Carmichael developed this promotion when we first got Pilot as a client back in the early 1990s. We thought this was our 18th year. But in doing the research, we found newspaper articles from 1992, meaning that next year will be the 20th anniversary of the event. Over that time, it has become a signature event of the annual United Way drive.
“It helps remind the community about our annual campaign and the important work United Way does in our community,” said Pam Fansler, East Region president of First Tennessee Bank and the United Way campaign chair this year. “It’s a team effort and my thanks go to the whole team: to Pilot for sponsoring the event, to the many celebrity pumpers who gave of their valuable time, and to all the Pilot customers who participated.”
During the promotion, Moxley Carmichael staffers hit the road to assist the pumpers and to take photos. The Pilot folks also man the battle stations, lending hands to the pumpers and greeting customers. Here are some of the photos from this year’s event. I know you’ll recognize most of these friendly faces. (The United Way campaign is still in full swing, by the way. If you haven’t yet donated, you know what to do!)
What good sports! Even though they weren’t official pumpers, the two mayoral candidates showed up to help and lend moral support.
If you’d like to see even more pictures from Pilot Pumpers 2011, check out our Flickr set. Click here.