Wendy’s donates to military troops, vets

Past grant recipients share stories about how this program helped them

Courtesy photo Taking part in Wendy’s restaurants’ check presentation to the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars officers are (from left): Michael Girvin, Kathy Ross, Joseph Hundley, Diane Beaver, Thomas Brown (state VFW commander), John Getz (adjunct quarter master), Staff Sgt. Kevin Hostetler and Chief Warrant Officer Scott Hetrick.

Representatives of Wendy’s restaurants in the west/central region of Pennsylvania recently presented another significant check to the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars officers, including State Commander Thomas Brown, to support local military families and veterans facing hardship.

The presentations were made on Nov. 15 at the Pennsylvania Guard Base on Aviation Drive in Johnstown.

This is the seventh check presentation made by Wendy’s bringing the campaign total to more than $185,000.

Grant recipients were on hand to speak about how their lives were improved by grants. So far, 108 grants have been made to troops, including some who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and veterans.

The annual donations have been made possible by a summer Wendy’s Key Tag fundraiser when customers purchased a $1 Frosty Key tag and receive a Free Jr. Frosty with Wendy’s purchase until Dec. 31.

Last year, the official name the grant program was amended to “The Michael J. Beaver Wendy’s — Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars Military Assistance Grant Program” in honor of the fund’s creator.

Beaver, of Sidman, was an Army Special Forces veteran who passed away last year. His wife, Diane Beaver, has worked with the other Wendy’s franchise owners who are campaign managers to keep supporting military troops and veterans through the grant program.

All proceeds from key tag sales are donated to the VFW State Headquarters, which will use the money to assist needy military families and veterans near participating Wendy’s stores.

The PA National Guard’s Family Program Office helps identify Guard members experiencing needy situations. Service members from other branches are eligible; requests must be routed to the VFW state headquarters through a military support office or an officer serving above the grant applicant’s rank.

“The Wendy’s campaign leaders and the participating Wendy’s stores continue to provide an outstanding level of life-changing financial support for military personnel, their families and veterans facing hard times. The VFW is very appreciative of the support that Wendy’s, their customers and the media give to this fundraiser to help military families,” said Commander Brown. “We are proud to be a part of this important project because serving and supporting our troops and their families is a top VFW priority. We commend Wendy’s for serving up such strong support for our troops.”

Wendy’s in these areas participate in this military family support campaign: Somerset, Johnstown, Ebensburg, Altoona, Duncansville, Bedford, Breezewood, Clarion, Indiana, Punxsutawney, DuBois, St. Marys, State College, Huntingdon and Lewistown.

According to Wendy’s franchise owners, Dave Thomas believed that giving back and supporting our community is everyone’s responsibility.

“Wendy’s is involved in thousands of local events each year that lend a hand to those in need. This key tag fundraiser was one way of giving back to the local community where we live and work. It is especially meaningful to help many families of those who sacrifice much to defend our freedom and to whom we owe so much.”