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Johnsburg Little Store gives back to community

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 6:14 a.m. CDT

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JOHNSBURG – Through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program, Sunnyside Little Store gives back to the community.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School, 2304 Church St., recently received a check for $500, a grant made possible by Sunnyside Little Store through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program.

ExxonMobil's Educational Alliance program has awarded $1.8 million in grants to help enhance school programs across the U.S.

Since 1997, Sunnyside Little Store, 4304 N. Johnsburg Road, has helped support schools throughout the Johnsburg area with thousands of dollars from Educational Alliance funds.

Funded by the ExxonMobil Corp., the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program is designed to provide local retailers an opportunity to invest in the future of their communities through educational grants to neighborhood schools

Schools partner with Exxon and Mobil-branded service stations to apply for Educational Alliance grants. In September, Sunnyside Little Store began working with schools in the community to fill out the applications. This year, St. John the Baptist Catholic School was chosen to advance their education programs.

St. John the Baptist Principal Maureen Jackson said the $500 will be used in the math and science programs. "We are really grateful for the generosity of others in our community," Jackson said.

Johnsburg-area schools that have benefited from the Educational Alliance program over the years include Johnsburg High School, Johnsburg Junior High, Johnsburg Middle School, James C. Bush Elementary School, and Ringwood School Primary Center. Funds have been used to improve athletic fields, purchase new computers, and program improvements in art, music, math and science.

Sunnyside Little Store is a privately owned Mobil gas station and convenience store that has been family owned and operated since 1991 by Monika and Chuck Cannell. Also working in the store are their children, Tina and Alex, and Tina's fiancée Trevor Bupp.

"We live by our motto, 'if we don't have it, you don't need it,'" Monika said. "We specialize in customer-friendly service and special requests for products for our loyal customers."

Monika grew up in the area and graduated from Johnsburg High School. "A lot of the teachers who were there when I went to school were teachers for my kids," she said.

"We are a small town and just trying to contribute what we can to our community," Monika said. "We like to give back to such great schools we have all grown up with. Every little bit helps."

She said the store carries a large variety of groceries, including beer, liquor, wine, soft drinks, snacks, candy, health and beauty products, auto and pet supplies. It features a full coffee and cappuccino bar, and the store's soft-serve ice cream during the summer months is a community favorite.

Gas was $3.99 a gallon at Sunnyside. "It just went up today," Monika said Wednesday. "Who knows why."

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