WAWA, Pa., Dec. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Wawa Foundation is thrilled to announce the winners of the Virginia “Hero Awards.” The awards recognize the important role non-profits and all citizens have in improving and building stronger communities. The Wawa Foundation Virginia Hero Awards were launched during Wawa’s 20-Year Virginia “Wawaversary”—marking two decades since the grand opening of its first store in the commonwealth of Virginia.

Three events were held during the week of December 17th to announce the winners of the Virginia Hero Awards based on more than 8,000 community votes. One Hero Award ($20,000 grant) and three Runner-Up Awards ($5,000 each) were presented in each of the VA markets Wawa serves including Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, and the Peninsula & Hampton Roads.

The Wawa Foundation Virginia Hero Award Winners ($20,000 each) include:

• Hampton Roads / Peninsula: The Boys and Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula

• Central Virginia: Henrico Police Athletic League

• Northern Virginia: Stafford County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association

The Runner-Up Award Winners ($5,000 each) include:

• Hampton Roads / Peninsula, Virginia

  • Communities in Schools – Hampton Roads
  • The Hero Kids Foundation
  • Real People Educating Others (RPEO)

• Central Virginia

  • Virginia Association Vol. Rescue Squads Inc.
  • The Greater Richmond ARC
  • Miracles in Motion Dance Troupe

• Northern Virginia

  • Variety the Children’s Charity of the National Capital Region
  • Hope for the Warriors
  • Hire Our Heroes

“Since we opened our first store in Virginia, Wawa has made connections with millions of customers across dozens of communities. Our Virginia Hero Awards are a way for us to say thank you to these amazing area non-profits that do so much for the communities we serve across Virginia,” said Jay Culotta, President of The Wawa Foundation. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to recognize the amazing work each of these organizations does in the Commonwealth, and we hope this recognition further enables them to bring incredible benefits to their communities.”

About the Wawa Foundation Virginia Hero Awards
Non-profit organizations applied by submitting a video and/or a short story with background on the organization’s work with, and impact on, the community. Four finalists were featured in a final voting round in each market, where community members were invited to vote for the everyday hero, they believe has had the greatest impact on their community.

“At Wawa, we were founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and we are honored to serve another great Commonwealth for the past 20 years here in Virginia,” said Chris Gheysens, CEO. “We strive to provide for our communities by supporting the common good, not only through the quality food and convenience of our stores, but through The Wawa Foundation’s mission to build stronger communities.”

For more information on The Wawa Foundation Virginia Hero Awards please visit www.TheWawaFoundation.org.

About The Wawa Foundation
The Wawa Foundation is an extension of Wawa’s commitment to making the world a better place by fulfilling customers’ lives every day. The Wawa Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded by Wawa, Inc. to support the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities – and ultimately to help build happier, stronger communities.  The Wawa Foundation focuses its support on organizations committed to health, hunger and everyday heroes through local, state and national grants and in-kind donations. Since 2014, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have donated more than $58 million to causes supporting health, hunger and the heroes who serve our communities every day.

CONTACT: public.relations@wawa.com