CARPINTERIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, today reported that its annual Stars for Heroes™ in-store fundraising campaign raised $1.4 million in 2015 - up from 2014’s $1.1 million - to benefit U.S. military veterans and their families. Funds raised will go directly to national beneficiaries USA Cares and Dream Foundation’s “Dreams for Veterans,” as well as regional beneficiaries Gary Sinise Foundation and Stand Up and Play Foundation.
Since the program’s launch in 2011, Stars for Heroes has harnessed the national reach of CKE’s company-operated and franchise restaurants as well as the generosity of customers to raise nearly $5 million cumulatively.
“We are pleased to announce that this has been our most successful year to date. We raised more funds than any other single Stars for Heroes campaign in the past and are closely approaching the $5 million mark for total funds raised since the program’s inception in 2011. This would not be possible without the support and leadership of both John Nelson, President of the Star Franchise Association and Buddy Brown, President of the Independent Hardee’s Franchise Association, as well as our employees, franchisees and restaurant crews,” said Andy Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants.
STARS FOR HEROES BENEFICIARIES
Over the last four years, CKE has proudly supported USA Cares, a non-profit organization that helps post-9/11 military families bear the burdens of service with financial and advocacy support. Its mission is to help with basic needs during financial crisis, to assist combat injured Veterans and their families and to prevent private military home foreclosures and evictions.
“We are honored to receive these funds from CKE Restaurants to help us support active duty soldiers, veterans, Guard and Reserve members and their families,” said Peter Giusti, president of USA Cares. “Every dollar makes a difference and allows us to provide much needed services to our nation’s heroes who’ve so selflessly served us.”
Since 1994, Dream Foundation has been a regular charity partner of CKE and for the past four years, the foundation has received Stars for Heroes funds. Their Dreams for Veterans program serves the nation’s military communities by giving back to terminally ill veterans and their families through the fulfillment of a final dream.
“We are honored to continue our partnership with CKE for the annual Stars for Heroes campaign,” said Kisa Heyer, executive director of Dream Foundation and its Dreams for Veterans program. “This year’s campaign helped Dream Foundation fund the final dreams of so many deserving veterans. We are grateful for the generosity, dedication and compassion of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s customers across the country, which enables us to continue to support veterans suffering from life-threatening illness.”
In addition to the two national beneficiaries, CKE selected Gary Sinise Foundation and Stand Up and Play Foundation to receive Stars for Heroes funds. Dozens of other regional charities also were selected by the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s franchise associations.
Since its creation nearly four years ago, the Stars for Heroes program has supported more than 75 U.S. military charities. During the in-store campaign, restaurant guests donated $1 and received a commemorative “Stars for Heroes” cutout to personalize and place on display in the restaurant. As a thank you for their donation, customers received $10 worth of Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s coupons to use toward future purchases.
About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company headquartered in Carpinteria, Calif. Through its subsidiaries, CKE owns and licenses Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® quick-service restaurants. CKE operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s as one brand under two names acknowledging the regional heritage of both banners. After opening its first restaurants in New York and New Jersey this spring and recent international openings in Canada, Colombia and Guatemala, CKE now has a total of 3,612 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 36 foreign countries and U.S. territories. Known for its one-of-a-kind premium menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™ and Fresh Baked Buns, as well as an award-winning marketing approach, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brand continues to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is now 90 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 18 percent of the system. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com.