Jerry Driggers of Trenton was more than happy to fill up his truck up at the Marathon gas station in Newberry late Monday night.
He happened to choose pump No. 7, which is decorated in Newberry High School colors, has a prowling panther across the top, and a new sign that reads “Get Pumped Up! Newberry Panther Spirit Pump.”
“I think that’s neat,” Driggers said when he learned that a portion of his fuel purchase will help support NHS athletics.
In a year of a pandemic making it hard for student athletes to hold fundraisers, the spirit pump seemed like a way to help make up some lost funding.
The City of Newberry sent out an invitation to a ribbon cutting at the fuel station owned by Hudson Foods, Inc. That event take place at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the station (24252 W. Newberry Road).
Newberry Commissioner Tim Marden worked with gas station owner Stoney Smith to spearhead the effort.
“I want to thank Mr. Stoney Smith, our Athletics Director Bryan Roundtree and Principal [James] Sheppard for the opportunity to help the programs at NHS in such a unique way,” Marden said in a press release. “Sign Universe provided awesome graphics. And I also wanted to recognize Danay Harvey and Chrissy Holloway from the NHS Quarterback Club for their support. It was a team effort.”
In a Facebook post Mayor Jordan Marlowe said he was pleased to participate in the effort.
“Tried out the pump today,” he wrote. “The gas went down a little smoother knowing a piece was headed back to our kids. Thanks, Marathon, for giving back, and thank you, Tim Marden, for helping to put this together!”
Gas consumers got a break in prices this week as the national average price for a gallon of gas dropped to $3.39, down a penny since last week. The omicron COVID-19 variant sparked a selloff in the oil market, but it remains unclear whether that will lead to lower prices at the pump.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a $1 billion gas tax relief initiative hoping that gas stations owners will pass on the savings to consumers.