(WTAJ) — Nittany MinitMart has raised a record $117,549.70 for Pennsylvania volunteer fire departments, the convenience chain announced Wednesday.

For the third-straight year, the “Help Us Help Them” initiative raised funds for 36 volunteer companies in 11 counties that will go toward training, equipment and supplies. The fundraiser was extended to April and May after being only in May for the first two years.

The fundraiser helps volunteer companies that are being forced to cut back due to the rise in inflation and gas prices.

In our community the following departments received funds:

The money raised beats last year’s record of $56,000.

Store customers could purchase $1 firefighter helmets, $5 fire trucks and other promotional merchandise with profits going toward the fire departments.

“We are pleased to be able to step up and help these organizations that we all depend on in so many ways,” CEO Jim Martin said. “…we believe it is part of our responsibility to communities to help those who help us especially during this time of high inflation when cost for fire companies are going up.”

Both Nittany Energy and Pennsylvania Skill partnered with the company, donating a penny each per gallon of gas sold at Nittany MinitMart from April until the end of May.

“Volunteer firefighters are the backbone of our communities and deserve our financial support,” Pennsylvania Skill spokesperson Jeff Millay said.

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Nittany MinitMart says Pennsylvania is in the top five states with the highest percentage of volunteer fire companies, and more communities are served by volunteers rather than career firefighters.

Nittany MinitMart has 27 locations across the state.