Input your text here! The text element is intended for longform copy that could potentially include multiple paragraphs.

Fueled by Support from Customers, Pilot Celebrity Pumpers Event Raises Record-Breaking $89,400 for United Way

October 10, 2014

Oct. 10, 2014

Anne LeZotte, Communications Manager
Office: (865) 474-3028
E-mail: [email protected]

Lauren Miller, Moxley Carmichael
Office: 865-544-0088
Email: [email protected]


In just three days, “Pilot Celebrity Pumpers” raised a record-breaking $89,400 for the United Way of Greater Knoxville, surpassing the previous record of $86,200, set in 2013, by $3,200.

Jim Haslam, Pilot founder and chairman of the board, visits with the morning crew from The Sports Animal WNML-FM 99.1 at the Pilot at 9550 Northshore Drive during

Jim Haslam, Pilot founder and chairman of the board, visits with the morning crew from The Sports Animal WNML-FM 99.1 at the Pilot at 9550 Northshore Drive during “Pilot Celebrity Pumpers” on Oct. 7. The three-day Pilot Pumpers event raised $89,400 for the United Way of Greater Knoxville. Pictured from left: Jeff Jacoby, Mickey Dearstone, Haslam and Heather Harrington.

From Oct. 6-8, local celebrities, including elected officials, media personalities and University of Tennessee sports figures, pumped gas and greeted customers to raise funds for the United Way of Greater Knoxville’s 2014 campaign. During the three-day event, Pilot donated 5 cents of every gallon of gas and 10 cents of every dollar spent in-store to the United Way.

“We truly appreciate the celebrity pumpers who took time out of their schedules to support the United Way by pumping gas for customers,” said Jim Haslam, Pilot founder and board chairman. “But, most importantly, we are grateful for each and every customer who offered support by making purchases at Pilot over the past three days. They are the reason we were able to raise a record-breaking amount for the United Way, and they are the reason for the continued success of this event.”

Over the past two decades, the annual event has raised more than $1 million for the United Way of Greater Knoxville. Pilot Celebrity Pumpers continues to be the charity’s single-largest special event fundraiser, helping United Way assist those most in need in our community.

“We are grateful for the support from Pilot, local celebrity pumpers, and the Knoxville community,” said 2014 United Way Chairman Randy Boyd. “Each year, Pilot continues to act as an incredible corporate citizen in the Knoxville community, and this event is a tremendous way to kick-start this year’s fundraising campaign.”

Celebrity pumpers distributed coupons for a free beverage during the event, and one lucky customer from each Pilot location won a $100 Pilot gas card. Additionally, Pilot patrons were encouraged to use the hashtag #pilotpumpers to be eligible for $100 gas card giveaways on social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett were among the celebrity pumpers, along with a host of Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission members and media personalities. United Way of Greater Knoxville CEO Ben Landers helped pump gas for customers at the Pilot on Cumberland Avenue. And well-known sports figures Holly Warlick, Lady Vols basketball head coach; Donnie Tyndall, UT men’s basketball head coach; Michael Annett, NASCAR driver for Pilot racing; and Dave Hart, University of Tennessee athletics director, also participated.

About Pilot

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot operates 40 convenience stores in Tennessee.

About United Way of Greater Knoxville

United Way of Greater Knoxville is a local, independent organization dedicated to improving lives by building a better community. In partnership with 46 agencies, local business, community leaders and ordinary citizens, United Way tackles issues that matter most. By working together, United Way provides a safety net of services addressing Knoxville’s most basic needs while working toward lasting change. For more information, please visit