Country Fair, CITGO, and United Way Partner to Bring a Love of Reading to the Erie Community

Miss Pennsylvania appears at Erie Country Fair to promote children’s literacy
May 28, 2015 5:10 PM ET
Miss Pennsylvania Amanda Smith with students from Erie YMCA pre-K program

ERIE, Pa., May 28, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Country Fair welcomed 20 children from the local YMCA pre-K program funded by United Way of Erie County for a special storytelling event led by Miss Pennsylvania Amanda Smith on May 22. CITGO Petroleum Corporation and United Way of Erie County hosted the event at the Country Fair CITGO location on 8080 Peach Street in Erie. The reading was one of 50 events that Country Fair is holding this summer to celebrate its 50th anniversary and give back to the communities it serves. 

“The Erie community has supported us for five decades, and so for our 50th anniversary, we want to thank our friends and neighbors by honoring local charities like the United Way of Erie,” said Country Fair Vice President of Retail Marketing Paul Rankin. “We hope everyone will join us as we continue to give back to the Erie area during our 50 birthday celebrations planned throughout the summer.”

Reading to children regularly during their preschool years offers them a significant boost toward their education for years to come. Promoting children’s literacy to strengthen and empower our future generations is a common mission that unites Country Fair, CITGO and United Way. 

“A core value of CITGO is to help improve the communities we serve, and we see education as one of the best pathways leading to success,” said Alan Flagg, CITGO assistant vice president of supply and marketing. “We work very hard to give back to the places in which we live and work. Our partnership with Country Fair and United Way is a great opportunity to support childhood literacy and work with our neighbors to build a brighter future for the Erie area.” 

In addition to the opportunity to meet Miss Pennsylvania, attendants of the storytelling event had the chance to enter a raffle for a 1965 Ford Mustang. Entrance to the raffle is ongoing and additional tickets will be sold at participating Country Fair stores or at any of the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations. 

Proceeds from the raffle benefit United Way’s Imagination Library.  The Imagination Library is a free community program that sends high-quality, age-appropriate books monthly to families with children under 5 years old. Launched in Erie in May 2013, the Library served 10,000 children in its first year and has distributed more than 10,000 books since November 2014. 

About CITGO 
CITGO is committed to giving back to the local communities it serves through its network of locally owned stations. CITGO Marketers and Retailers in Pennsylvania, like Country Fair, own and operate more than 300 CITGO locations and are proud to support their communities. For more information on the positive impact of the locally owned CITGO stations, visit

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit

About Country Fair
Country Fair, Inc. is a chain of 71 convenience stores that are integral parts of the communities that they service throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania, Western New York, and Eastern Ohio.  Country Fair employs over 1,250 associates and was ranked 16th largest employer in Erie, PA in 2013. (Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry)  Country Fair is committed to offering a wide variety of high quality products and services that meet our customers’ convenience needs. Country Fair combines first class facilities with excellent customer service to accomplish our mission, which is to satisfy “Every Customer, Every Time.”

About United Way of Erie County
United Way of Erie County is working to improve community conditions and create opportunities for a better life for everyone. We mobilize people and organizations from across the community who bring the passion, resources and expertise needed to get things done. Thanks to the generous community support we receive, United Way helps improve the lives of one out of every three people in Erie County each year. Last year, more than 100,000 friends and neighbors in our region were touched by United Way. Additional information about United Way of Erie County programs and initiatives can be found at