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Cenex brings ‘home town convenience’ to breast cancer fight

​​Fun for a good cause is what drove Cenex convenience stores to participate in a major way in Marshfield Clinic's Pink Ribbon Campaign.

Employees at Country Pride Cooperative at the Cenex store in Turtle Lake include (from left) Manager Sue Friday, Jordan Sellent, Tim Koenig, Eric Russel and Jennifer Petersen. Employees at Country Pride Cooperative at the Cenex store in Turtle Lake include (from left) Manager Sue Friday, Jordan Sellent, Tim Koenig, Eric Russel and Jennifer Petersen.
Staff members at Cedar Country Cooperative’s Cenex Exit 45 in Menomonie include (from left) Robin West, Manager Erin Krech and Jessica Boone. Staff members at Cedar Country Cooperative’s Cenex Exit 45 in Menomonie include (from left) Robin West, Manager Erin Krech and Jessica Boone.
The Retailers Association of Wisconsin, composed of 30 cooperatives representing more than 100 Cenex stores, thoroughly embraced the campaign by selling thousands of pink ribbons to their customers to support the Clinic's mobile mammography services.

"Cooperatives are owned by the community so it only makes sense that we give something back to the communities we serve," explained Jim Jones, president of the Retailers Association of Wisconsin. Jones, along with his wife, Linda, a breast cancer survivor, spearheaded Cenex's involvement in the campaign. "It was great to go out and see counters and walls covered in pink ribbons. Some stores really got into it."

That was certainly true at Country Pride Cooperative's Cenex store in Turtle Lake, which sold more than 1,000 ribbons.

"In a small town, we're like family," explained Susie Friday, manager of the Turtle Lake Cenex. "We all know someone who has been touched by breast cancer, and we do everything we can to support them. Everyone here really got into it.  We had fun.  Even the guys wore pink shirts."

Fun was key to Cedar Country Cooperative's Cenex Exit 45 Travel Center's success, another store that sold more than 1,000 ribbons.

"I sold them in sets of two…because that's the way they come," said Erin Krech with a slight smile. She's the manager of the Menomonie area Cenex, where customers had fun as well with some creative names signed on their ribbons. "We had Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mouse, and at least three Barack Obamas hanging on the wall. But, it was very moving for some of them as well.  I sold one to a man who had just lost his wife to breast cancer. We both cried as he wrote her name on the ribbon." 

It was also personal for Jessica Boone, an employee at the Menomonie area Cenex.  "I lost my grandmother to breast cancer," she explained, "so I bought one for everyone in my family."

"I have a lot of cancer in my family, too," explained Robin West, assistant manager at the same store. "This was a way I could do something. I know these dollars stay local, and help women here in Wisconsin. I would do it again in a heartbeat."

​Pink Ribbon Promotion raises awareness and funds​

Awareness, early detection through screening, and research are all key in ultimately saving lives from breast cancer. Marshfield Clinic's 2012 Pink Ribbon Promotion was one way to support all three. In 2012, nearly $20,000 was raised thanks to the support of the businesses listed below.  Each site directed their funds to an area of breast cancer at Marshfield Clinic that they felt was most meaningful.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds is staying local to support the fight against breast cancer in Wisconsin. Thank you to these participating merchants:

Associated Bank, 20 locations*

The Barbers – Central Wisconsin

Bread and Butter Shops/Baltus Co. - Marshfield, Stratford and Wisconsin Rapids*

Campus Pub – Wausau  

Cattails Coffee – Marshfield

Cenex*

Chips – Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield*

Cost Cutters – Central Wisconsin*

Eagle River Golf Course

Edgar Lanes

Globe University – Rothschild

High Street Salon, Spa and Travel – Marshfield

Lindsey Bar

Marathon Feed

Marshfield Clinic employees

Pro-Cuts, Central Wisconsin*

Prudential Success Realty – Marshfield

Retailer's Association of Wisconsin*

Rose Bowl – Marshfield

Slumberland Furniture – Marshfield

Speakeasy Saloon – Neillsville

Taco John's of Wisconsin Rapids

Tea Shop – Marshfield and Wausau

Terry's Amoco BP – Nekoosa

The Daily Grind – Marshfield

Verlo Mattress Factory Store - Wausau

Weber's Farm Store – Marshfield

Weiler's Convenience Stores - Marshfield

United HealthCare

*denotes multiple locations

October is breast cancer awareness month and will be here before you know it.  If you are interested in starting a Pink Ribbon Promotion at your business or place of employment, please contact Tiffany Halan at 715-387-9189.