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Release Date: 08.22.2009 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Chick-fil-A, Inc.

88-Year-Old Chick-fil-A Founder Reaches $25 Million Scholarship Milestone; Honored at Aug. 24 Downtown Atlanta Ceremony

Chain to Award $1.4 Million in Scholarships This Year Alone to Restaurant Team Members

ATLANTA (Aug. 24, 2009) -In the midst of companies looking for ways to trim costs and reduce budgets, Chick-fil-A continues its 36-year commitment to education with founder S. Truett Cathy reaching his $25 million Leadership Scholarship milestone during a year when the restaurant chain has allocated $1.4 million in scholarships to be awarded to its restaurant team members.

On Aug. 24 at 10 a.m., Cathy will be joined by Ambassador Andrew Young and other local political and community leaders at a ceremony commemorating this milestone and acknowledgement of the 25,000th Leadership Scholarship to Chick-fil-A team member Jamie Dyche of Bossier City, La. The ceremony will be held at Atlanta's downtown 23-foot Chick-fil-A "Climb with Care and Confidence" statue located in the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District, across from Woodruff Park.

A plaque commemorating the milestone also will be unveiled at the statue that was commissioned in 1995 by Georgia State University art students to celebrate Cathy's 10,000 scholarship milestone. The statue depicts people reaching upward, being helped by and helping others to climb an arch of books.

The celebration will culminate that evening at the Gwinnett Braves' game in Lawrenceville, Ga., where Cathy and Dyche will throw out the first pitch. Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship recipients from across the country have been invited to help honor Cathy's milestone by attending the double-header game.

The venue is an appropriate ending to the day as it reflects other educational programs the chain supports. Chick-fil-A and the Atlanta Braves are partners in the All-Star Student Achievers program which awards Braves tickets and Chick-fil-A coupons to Georgia's high-achieving K-12 students.

In addition to Dyche, who works for franchised Operator John Roden at the stand-alone Bossier City Chick-fil-A restaurant at I-220 & Airline Drive, Eddie White, Jonesboro, Ga., will also be part of the day's milestone celebration. White, one of the earliest employees at Cathy's first restaurant, the Dwarf Grill from which the Chick-fil-A chain was founded, was a recipient of a personal check Cathy wrote 54 years ago to help make up the lacking funds he needed to attend college. Granted scholarships that have now grown to include 25,000 restaurant team members benefitting from the founder's commitment to education with Chick-fil-A's Leadership Scholarship program formally organized in 1973.

"I realized very early in my career that our restaurants present an opportunity to do more than just provide great service and food. They enable us to mentor our restaurant team members by teaching them core values and how to achieve excellence, as well as encouraging continued education with scholarships," said Cathy. "In these challenging economic times, we're thrilled to be able to help Jamie and some 1,400 other team members this year reach their academic goals so they will have the necessary tools to secure a bright future for themselves and our nation."

Cathy will be joined by other milestone scholarship winners for the celebration including first Leadership Scholarship recipient Larry Jackson, Roswell, Ga., who worked at the first Chick-fil-A restaurant at Greenbriar Shopping Center and graduated with a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech; and 20,000th recipient Erica Lampkin, of metro-Augusta, Ga., who graduated from Atlanta's Spelman College in May and plans to attend medical school. Also attending the events is recipient Dr. David Vaillancourt, founder of the National Math Bee, who symbolizes the great achievements of many scholarship recipients who have carried out Cathy's vision to have a positive influence on the world.

Restaurant team members such as Dyche, who will be attending Centenary College in Shreveport, La., in the fall, have attended more than 2,400 colleges, universities and other educational institutions across the country with the aid of the Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship. In Georgia alone, more than 4,800 recipients have attended over 190 schools.

Following college graduation, many of these restaurant team members pursue full-time careers at Chick-fil-A, such as franchisee Roden who also received one of the chain's scholarships while working during high school for Chick-fil-A.

The Leadership Scholarship program provides $1,000 scholarships to its restaurant team members who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of work, education, community and personal leadership development.

Chick-fil-A also awards S. Truett Cathy Scholar Awards, which provide additional $1,000 scholarships to the top 25 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship recipients each year. Implemented in 1996 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Chick-fil-A's scholarship program, this year's S. Truett Cathy Award recipients brought the total awarded to $325,000.

Additionally, Chick-fil-A's WinShape Foundation provides thousands of dollars in scholarships to qualifying students enrolled in Berry College in Rome, Ga. WinShape's partnership with Berry College offers joint four-year scholarship funding to students of up to $32,000. To date, the foundation has awarded approximately 951 scholarships to students from across the nation to attend Berry, one of the top regional liberal arts schools in the country.

The Council for Aid to Education has indicated that no other company in terms of size does as much in the scholarship area as Chick-fil-A. "Like the name of our foundation, WinShape, it has always been my goal to help shape winners out of young people," added Cathy.

More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at,, or

Media Contacts:
Brenda Green
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Anne Lerner
CP Communications

Contact Info

Contact Name:

Company: Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Phone: 404.765.8064