SHIRLEY — Nearly 100 years ago, the Shirley community supported a gas station on the corner of Main and Railroad streets.
White Petroleum grew and became GasAmerica. But now that the company’s 88 stores have been sold to Speedway, GasAmerica’s fourth-generation business owners are giving back to the community that helped their great-grandfather back in 1916.
Siblings Stephanie White-Longworth and Keith White established the White Family Foundation in July to give to various community groups in the town that straddles the Hancock-Henry line. In addition, GasAmerica has donated hundreds of its computers to local schools, and a scholarship fund will also soon be established for local graduates hoping to further their education.
Altogether, the contributions total roughly $600,000. Local residents say the funds are a much-needed boost to the community that has seen businesses closing and residents moving away in recent years. The effort also is one of the most significant philanthropic endeavors in recent history in the county.