Almost everyone has driven by or been to a local Casey’s store; they are almost everywhere. I even remember going on vacation and my mom would make dad stop at other Casey’s stores so she could check them out… she was Maxwell’s store manager at the time, and I won’t put Dad’s comments on here, but he did stop at the stores.

Not just their pizza that became a local convenience and favorite of many in town, our Casey’s store employees have always been a favorite in town too.

I am not sure if most know how generous Casey’s has been to groups for donations to events, I can tell you that they have donated cookies, cookie dough, pizzas, donuts, tootsie rolls, napkins and yes - even a can of cooking spray (it was an emergency at 6 a.m. one morning for the Fire Dept breakfast). From a personal experience, they gave me 2 cups of mozzarella cheese at 10:30 at night because I ran out and was making a lasagna for a funeral lunch, and they open up even at 5 a.m. when the EMS department is in need of ice, coffee or Gatorade. They go above and beyond.

Quite a few years ago when my mom worked there, Casey’s was involved with Iowa Variety Telethon, and is still one of its supporters. But each year our local employees would host a spaghetti dinner, made GIANT Valentine’s cookies, and received donations at the store to support the telethon. I can remember our house smelling like a Italian restaurant for weeks while my mom made spaghetti sauce, and every day after school she rolled out sugar cookies. Her sidekick, Sandy Lawrence, would make dough each night, bring to the store the next day, and my mom made the cookies. Like a well oiled machine, they did it for years. Although the local Casey’s hasn’t done anything for the Variety Club for quite some time, their employees still carry that sense of giving back and helping out the community.

Justine Robertson and Cassiday Thompson are just a couple of employees that worked very hard during our football, cross country, and volleyball seasons, making personalized sugar cookies with the players jersey numbers. I think I even saw some cookies with a volleyball made out of icing. This is something that they certainly don’t have to do, but they do and it makes so many people’s day — something simple can go really far. Employees also decorated the store with streamers in our new school colors during homecoming week, and would say something to the kids as they stopped in wearing their uniforms or Spartan gear.

Most recently, Casey’s worked with the Maxwell Fire Department during Fire Prevention Week; anyone that ordered a pizza and wanted it delivered (our store doesn’t have delivery), the firefighters would deliver and check the residents’ smoke detectors. Store Manager Marisa Taylor is always very helpful and eager to do things for our community. Any time the store is doing something for a group, she is always asking what else can I do to help. Casey’s employees even go out of their way just to help residents; one story I heard was from a mom of four kids who had her keys locked in her car at the store. An employee ran her and the kids to school so they were not late, and another employee called a locksmith and the car was ready when the mom returned. They also helped me with something similar — my beagle locked me out of the car on our way to the vet, I am sure she thought it would prevent her from getting her teeth cleaned that morning. But one of the donut-makers came out with a spatula and was able to hit the lock button through a partially opened window, much to Daisey’s disappointment.

Casey’s in a small town means so much more than a place to get fuel or a cup of coffee — they are part of our community and take as much pride in the town as we do. So this is my shout-out to our Maxwell Casey’s store and all the employees from over the years who have gone above and beyond for Maxwell.