‘Pilot Celebrity Pumpers’ raises record-breaking $94,091 for United Way of Greater Knoxville

October 19, 2017

Pilot Founder and Chairman James A. Haslam II presents a check for $94,091 to United Way of Greater Knoxville CEO Ben Landers at the Pilot Convenience Store at 1826 Western Ave on Oct. 18. Pictured from left: Pilot representatives Gary Strange, Allison Smith and Stuart McCullough; Haslam; Landers; Brewton Couch of the United Way of Greater Knoxville; and Ken Maner of Pilot.

Pilot donated $94,091 to the United Way of Greater Knoxville thanks to the generous support of community members who purchased gas and other items at Knox County Pilot Convenience Stores during the 25th annual “Pilot Celebrity Pumpers.” The 2017 fundraiser tally bested the previous record of $93,350 set in 2016.

From Oct. 2-4, local celebrities, including elected officials, media personalities and University of Tennessee representatives, pumped gas and greeted customers to help Pilot raise funds for United Way. 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 of Greater Knoxville’s 2017 annual campaign.

“The success of Pilot Pumpers is fueled by the generosity of community members who come out and support the United Way each year and the pumpers who volunteer their time to this annual event,” said Jim Haslam II, founder and chairman of Pilot. “Thank you to everyone who helped make this donation possible by visiting our stores, pumping gas and making purchases to benefit the United Way of Greater Knoxville.”

Haslam presented a check to United Way representatives on Oct. 18 at the Pilot Convenience Store at 1826 Western Ave. in Knoxville. “Pilot Celebrity Pumpers” continues to be the United Way’s single-largest special event fundraiser, helping the organization assist those most in need in the community. Since its inception, Pilot Pumpers has raised more than $1.3 million for United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett were among the celebrity pumpers, along with a host of Knoxville City Council, Knox County Commission and Knox County School Board members and media personalities. Sports figures also participated, including Michael Annett, NASCAR driver for Pilot Flying J Racing; John Currie, UT Athletics Director; and the UT Spirit Squad.

“We are grateful to Pilot for its generosity and commitment to community through ‘Pilot Celebrity Pumpers,’ and we appreciate everyone who contributed,” United Way CEO Ben Landers said. “This donation will allow us to work with partner agencies to implement programs and initiatives that will have a lasting impact on our community.”

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot operates 38 convenience stores in Tennessee.