RICHMOND, VA. (June 9, 2016) – Longtime Special Olympics Virginia supporter Hardee’s franchise operator Boddie-Noell Enterprises will receive the organization’s top award during the opening ceremonies of the Summer Games here this weekend.
Boddie-Noell Vice Chairman Bill Boddie will receive the organization’s Virginia H. Foster Winning Spirit Award, the highest honor bestowed to an individual or organization by Special Olympics Virginia. He will receive the award during Friday’s opening ceremony in the University of Richmond’s stadium before more than 1,500 participating athletes and their families and supporters.
Boddie-Noell and its Hardee’s restaurants throughout Virginia have been partners with SOVA for more than 35 years during which the company has contributed more than $1.5 million to the organization.
“Arguably, Boddie-Noell has been our most significant contributor since our incorporation in 1975,” said Rick Jeffrey, president of Special Olympics Virginia. “Their company motto, ‘We Believe in People,’ reflects their commitment to fostering a positive work environment and community for all.”
For decades, Boddie-Noell has held an annual fundraiser at its Hardee’s restaurants across Virginia in which customers pay $1 for a special Star in exchange for a coupon sheet good for specific menu items worth far more than the contribution amount. In addition, the company’s Richmond-area Hardee’s have fed the athletes and coaches during the games.
Last year’s Star fundraiser campaign resulted in a record-setting $97,644 for Special Olympics Virginia to help directly offset the costs of this year’s Summer Games. All 176 Hardee’s locations operated by Boddie-Noell in Virginia raised money for the event.
“We’re very proud of our Hardee’s and Boddie-Noell association with Special Olympics Virginia and the loyalty and support our customers have shown over these years in supporting these special athletes,” said Boddie who has been involved in the games, including one year in which he carried one of the flags in the ceremonial procession by athletes into the stadium as part of the Summer Games opening ceremony. “On behalf of our company and our restaurants, we’re privileged to receive this recognition,” he said.
In addition to being one of the main supporters of the annual Summer Games, Boddie-Noell also sponsored the Polar Plunge Fest in Virginia Beach on Feb. 5 & 6 and in Dumfries, Richmond and the New River Valley last Feb. 27.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with and without intellectual disabilities. Participation provides them with continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
To learn more about the Special Olympics Virginia visit www.specialolympicsva.org.
About Boddie-Noell Enterprises
Family owned Boddie-Noell Enterprises (BNE) has been a Hardee’s franchise operator continuously for more than 50 years. Today BNE is the largest Hardee’s franchisee in the United States with 338 restaurants across four states (Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and South Carolina). The company employs more than 10,000 people and is headquartered in Rocky Mount, N.C. For more information about the company, visit www.bneinc.com.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics Virginia is an accredited state program of Special Olympics Incorporated. There are about 140,000 people in Virginia with intellectual disabilities and about 8 million without. Our goal is to reach out to every one of them. In the coming years, our strategy places greater emphasis on uniting youth with and without disabilities. We will also create opportunities for families, teachers, businesses, law enforcement, celebrities, dignitaries and others to band together to change attitudes and support our athletes. Our vision is to inspire the First Unified Generation. Engage with us on Twitter @solympicsva; fb.com/specialolympicsvirginia; and youtube.com/specialolympicsva.