Pilot Pumpers


What they needed:

Execution of community-focused awareness campaign to benefit the United Way

What we did:

  • Public relations
  • Graphic design
  • Web design and development
  • Special events

When Pilot sought to raise awareness and boost support for the United Way’s annual campaign, Moxley Carmichael Founder and CEO Cynthia Moxley was ready.

In 1992, she developed Pilot Celebrity Pumpers, a community-focused campaign. It has since become the single-largest special event fundraiser for the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Each year in October at the start of the annual campaign, local celebrities, elected officials and media personalities are invited to be guest pumpers, donating an hour of time to pump gas for customers at local Pilot stores. Moxley Carmichael coordinates the scheduling, as well as securing media sponsors and promotion.

Media personalities and elected officials have shown enthusiastic support for this program, and the public appreciates the opportunity to visit with them at the pump. The extra customer traffic benefits both Pilot and United Way. During the three-day event, Pilot donates five cents of every gallon of gas sold and 10 cents of every dollar spent inside the store to United Way of Greater Knoxville.

The first year, Pilot delivered the proceeds from Pilot Celebrity Pumpers to the United Way office in cash in a wheelbarrow – a visual the media loved. Since its inception, Celebrity Pumpers has raised more than $1 million and become a signature event for Pilot and United Way.