special olympics

Wawa, Sheetz Put Pa. Convenience Store Rivalry Aside for Icy Cause

What brings Sheetz and Wawa together? A virtual Polar Pop supporting the Pennsylvania Special Olympics

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What to Know

  • In a rare show of unity, the leaders of Wawa and Sheetz came together for a charitable cause.
  • Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz and Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens popped balloons of cold water over their heads as part of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania's virtual polar pop.
  • Each Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain

The Pennsylvania convenience stores war is taking a break for a noble cause as Wawa and Sheetz put down their hoagies and sandwiches to get soaked Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

For years, Sheetz and Wawa have drawn lines -- with locations sometimes within shouting distance of each other -- as aficionados in Pennsylvania, especially, are left to answer which multistate chain is supreme. But, the icy relationship is taking a brief break.

In a rare show of unification for the icy rivals, Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz and Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens and associates from each beloved chain got soaked for the “Burrr-tual” Polar Pop. The competitors posted video of the partnership on Wednesday.

People representing both Wawa and Sheetz popped balloons full of cold water over their heads before sending it back to the other side. Gheysens and Sheetz wrapped up the "#FreezinForAReason" fun by joining together on "3, 2, 1" to get soaked while standing outside in front of gas pumps, of course.

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing, the Special Olympics moved its popular polar bear plunges to virtual Polar Pop events, raising money by people taking the challenge by getting soaked while pledging at least $50. People are urged to post video of themselves popping a cold water balloon over their head and then challenging five friends of family to do the same.

Wawa and Sheetz took the fundraising to a larger level with matching $5,000 donations.

“Now more than ever, it is critical we continue to support Special Olympics Pennsylvania, who trains, inspires and transforms the lives of nearly 20,000 athletes every year,” Joe Sheetz said.

“As a longstanding partner of Special Olympics PA, we are honored to continue our support of local athletes at a time when it’s needed most,” Gheysens said. “We invite our customers to have some fun supporting an organization that is making a significant impact in our community.”

The rare show of unity by Sheetz and Wawa quickly gained notice. Staunch Sheetz supporter, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, even was willing to lower his Made-to-Order war flag to throw his support 100% behind the cause.

The Polar Pop runs through Feb. 26. Click here to take part and for details on what you need to do.

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