ROCKY HILL, Conn., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Local CITGO Retailer CCO, LLC partnered with Sam's Children, Inc. to raise $83,000 to benefit families with ill children at its third annual Sam's Children Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell, Conn. on Sept.14, 2013. Sam's Children, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization serving families with children struggling with serious diseases. More than five hundred children and adults, including CCO employees, store operators, social workers, vendors, CITGO representatives, friends and families participated in the annual event.

Sam's Children President Charles DiFazio, Vice-President Hamid Bijari, Treasurer Tracy Schroeder and Secretary Sara Luzmoor organized an evening that featured a host of speakers, both silent and live auctions and prize drawings. Entertainment included a Michael Jackson impersonator, a renowned concert pianist and a singing duo. For the kids in attendance there was a face painter, magician, hand henna painter, a photo booth and a balloon artist.

"When parents have a child suffering from a serious condition, the financial stress from non-medical expenses is an added weight to the already difficult medical situation. Driving to medical facilities, paying for gas and parking, food, rent, utility bills, clothing, cribs, beds, etc. in addition to medical equipment expenses and hospital bills, can be unbearable for some families. At Sam's Children, we're able to step in and help with those expenses," said Tracy Schroeder, treasurer for Sam's Children, Inc. "For example, we often supply gasoline gift cards, a month of free parking or a month of free lunches at the hospital where the child is being treated."

Sam's Children, Inc. is a charitable, non-profit, tax exempt organization committed to raising funds to assist children with serious diseases and their families. All funds raised by Sam's Children, Inc., which are donated through the generosity of concerned and giving people, will be used exclusively for any proven need of a family whose child is battling cancer, multiple sclerosis or other serious and debilitating diseases. For more information about Sam's Children, please visit:

CITGO is committed to giving back to the local communities it serves through its network of locally owned locations. CITGO Marketers and Retailers in Connecticut, like CCO, LLC own and operate more than 175 CITGO locations and are proud to support their communities. For more information on the positive impact of the locally owned CITGO stations, visit

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit