Exxpress Mart raises awareness and funds to help Gift of Life

Vickie Seymour, Gift of Life office manager; Charlotte Mains, Gift of Life event

Endorsing the Gift of Life’s mission to save lives, owners of Tri-Con Inc. (dba Exxpress Mart) Imad and Elias Sarkis implemented a holiday giving campaign at their 20 regional convenience stores, generating $22,500 —almost double last year’s campaign to further the Gift of Life’s healthcare and educational programs.

During the holiday season, Exxpress Mart employees encouraged customers to make a donation to the Gift of Life by purchasing a festive reindeer that symbolized their support of the organization and provided much-needed funds for its expansion of healthcare services. Thousands of Southeast Texas residents charitably supported Exxpress Mart’s community initiative, contributing to a unique grassroots effort that benefits individuals residing in the Gift of Life’s seven-county service area.

“Though the landscape of healthcare is changing, one aspect of medical care that hasn’t changed is the critical need for lifesaving cancer screenings and education in our community,” said Regina Rogers, Gift of Life founder and chair. “The contributions from Exxpress Mart and their customers are a blessing for Gift of Life at a time when the need for our services is increasing, while traditional funding avenues are diminishing. We are grateful for this phenomenal show of support because it will truly save lives.”

Twenty regional Exxpress Mart locations participated in the Holiday Reindeer Campaign, inspiring a friendly, competitive spirit to raise the most money for the Gift of Life. The top-earning stores were Exxpress Mart 12 (Lumberton) that raised $4,362.49 and Exxpress Mart 24 (Silsbee), which collected $4,058.50. The Gift of Life honored the store managers and employees at the two locations with gifts of appreciation for their outstanding performance.

Leading by example, the Sarkis brothers contributed an additional $10,000 in loving memory of their beloved father, the late Samir Sarkis, who passed away last December and whose extraordinary legacy of hard work and a generous spirit inspired them to build a successful family business and give back to the region.

“The Sarkis family is deeply committed to the needs of people,” said Norma Sampson, Gift of Life executive director. “Not only did they conceive of this incredible way to help, but their heartfelt connection to individuals who lack access to lifesaving healthcare services was illuminated by the way they actively participated in this campaign. We are humbled recipients of their benevolence and goodwill.”

Annually, the Gift of Life provides nearly 2,300 free mammograms and clinical breast exams for medically underserved individuals, with follow-up diagnostic evaluations for those who require additional testing and treatment. Additionally, the Gift of Life has made available nearly 8,000 free prostate cancer screenings, with diagnostic and treatment costs entirely underwritten by the organization. Since inception, the organization has helped extend the lives of nearly 250 individuals who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer and navigated through treatment and healing.

For more information about the Gift of Life, call (409) 833-3663 or visit giftoflifebmt.org.

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