Eljamal and FuelCo Raise $20,000 for the DRI in Just Six Weeks

Crystal Blaylock Sanchez (center), president of Blaylock Oil Company; and Sammy Mussa Eljamal (far right), president of Wholesale Fuels, present a check for $20,000 to the Diabetes Research Institute’s vice president, Tom Karlya (3rd from the left in the back), to help fund a cure for diabetes.

Also pictured (L to R) Bryan Orser and Ali Abuabdullah from Wholesale Fuels; Cameron and Matthew Sanchez and their father John Sanchez.

Hollywood, FL (April 5, 2012) – In six short weeks, FuelCo, which operates various retail and convenience stores throughout Connecticut and New York, sold $20,000 worth of scannable cards recently to benefit the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).  Available in increments of $1, the cards were sold at the register and then hung on a special wall or window at the store with the name of the buyer.

After the success of the fundraising campaign, which ran in only 15 locations of more than 150 Shell, Mobil and BP stations in the Northeast, Sammy M. Eljamal, president of Wholesale Fuels, a FuelCo subsidiary, leveraged a few sites to see what having strategic locations could do for the DRI.  Eljamal plans to expand the fundraising promotion to more retailers and their outlets across the United States.

“People asked questions; they were impressed with our efforts and wanted to participate individually,” said Elajamal of Westchester County, NY.  “One customer handed a cashier $100, but asked for only one card.  This is only the beginning.  We hope to raise millions for the Diabetes Research Institute so that the scientists there can find a cure for diabetes.”

Eljamal learned about the DRI’s important research after participating in the annual Shell Key West Challenge Fishing Tournament, which also benefits the world-renowned organization.

“I was personally affected by hearing from a young boy, Matthew Sanchez, whose daily life includes needles, finger pricks, constant vigilance and fear,” he said.  Matthew, 12, is the son of Crystal Blaylock Sanchez, president of Blaylock Oil and lead organizer of the fishing tournament, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2013. “We must cure this disease and fast,” said Eljamal. 

Eljamal pledged $20,000 instantly and vowed to pay it personally if the scannables didn’t sell.  However, with the dedication and support of General Manager Hani Sadallah, the promotion was a tremendous success.

“Sometimes all it takes is one person.  Sammy Eljamal was inspired after coming down for the tournament last year, and he is determined to take this fundraising campaign to a whole new level in the year ahead,” said Blaylock Sanchez, who also serves on the board of directors for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. 

She continued, “I am so grateful for companies like Shell and FuelCo for supporting the DRI and the search for a cure. Sammy is part of a big family, and we hope to have more of the Eljamals participating in the future. I’ve known his uncle Mickey for over 10 years.”

With nearly 26 million people in this country alone living with diabetes, it’s probable that one out of every three people who visit a FuelCo store has a loved one with diabetes.  This alarming statistic motivated customers to purchase the scannable cards in droves.  Diabetes impacts all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds and is caused by the body’s inability to create or effectively use its own insulin.

All funds raised through the FuelCo campaign support the Diabetes Research Institute, which leads the world in cure-focused research.  As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to shrink the timeline toward the discovery of a biological cure for this disease.  Having already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, the DRI is building upon these promising outcomes by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies. 

The Diabetes Research Institute was created for one reason – to cure diabetes – which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of people affected by diabetes, the DRI is the best hope for a cure.  For additional information, visit

Any retailers interested in running a scannable fundraising campaign should contact the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation at 1-800-321-3437 or  


Media Contact:
Lauren Schreier

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