Local Popeyes® Franchisees Raise $120,000 to Fund Season’s Inaugural Flight to Washington, D.C.
CHICAGO (April 9, 2018) – On Wednesday, April 11, 99 Chicago-area WWII and Korean War veterans will travel with Honor Flight Chicago to Washington, D.C., for a once-in-a-lifetime day of honor at their national war memorials. These heroic men and women will be the first to shepherd in Honor Flight Chicago’s second decade, and the beneficiaries of a very special partnership with Popeyes® Chicagoland Co-op.
In the months leading up to this inaugural flight, Popeyes® franchisees across the Chicago metro area and Northwest Indiana promoted sales of coupon books to support Honor Flight Chicago. The co-op raised $120,000, enough to fully fund the flight on April 11.
“I can’t recall another instance when so many individual business owners came together to support our mission in such a significant way,” said Mary Pettinato, CEO and co-founder of Honor Flight Chicago. “The dedication of so many within Popeyes® Chicagoland Co-op – from regional executives and the co-op’s board of directors, to team members who took the extra time to tell our senior war heroes’ stories – was truly inspiring.
“For humble heroes like 97-year-old Henry Wiley, one of the storied 92nd Infantry Division ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ who served on the front lines in Italy during WWII, the support of Popeyes® goes beyond fundraising. It serves as an acknowledgment that his service and sacrifice have not been forgotten.”
At 97, First Gunner Wiley is the oldest among the 21 WWII and 78 Korean War veterans who will travel with Honor Flight Chicago. Wiley and his fellow heroes will depart from Midway International Airport and will be greeted by a water-cannon salute when they arrive on the tarmac at Dulles International Airport. From there, the group will spend an emotional, whirlwind day visiting our capital’s war memorials, participating in a ceremony of gratitude and remembrance, and touring the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, before returning to Midway to the cheers of family and friends in a powerful Welcome Home celebration.
“The Popeyes® Chicagoland Co-op is proud to support Honor Flight Chicago,” said Joe Haberkorn, President of the Popeyes® Chicago Franchisee Co-op. “We are forever grateful for the service that the men and women of this area gave to our nation. We recognize the importance of remembering and honoring these fine men and women.”
“The Popeyes® Chicagoland Co-op is proud to support Honor Flight Chicago. We are forever grateful for the service that the men and women of this area gave to our nation. We recognize the importance of remembering and honoring these fine men and women.”
Founded in 2008, Honor Flight Chicago is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to acknowledging the invaluable service of America’s senior war veterans and inspiring future generations to recognize the power of gratitude and respect. Honor Flight Chicago is the largest hub in the national Honor Flight Network. After the April 11 flight, Honor Flight Chicago will have flown more than 7,500 WWII and Korean War veterans to visit their national war memorials in Washington, D.C. The flight on April 11 will be Honor Flight Chicago’s 83rd, and the first of its second decade.
Founded in New Orleans in 1972, POPEYES® has more than 40 years of history and culinary tradition. POPEYES® distinguishes itself with a unique New Orleans style menu featuring spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp, and other regional items. The chain’s passion for its Louisiana heritage and flavorful authentic food has allowed POPEYES® to become one of the world’s largest chicken quick service restaurants with over 2,800 restaurants in the U.S. and around the world. To learn more about the POPEYES® brand, please visit the POPEYES® brand website at www.popeyes.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.