For the sixth consecutive year, The Arby’s Charity Tour has kicked off its nationwide, 2002 season with a hole in one. Weekend festivities, including a charity golf tournament and auction, raised $220,000 for charities including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys & Girls Club of America. By year’s end, after nineteen similar events nationwide, the Arby’s Charity Tour is expected to bring $2.5 million into charity coffers.

The cornerstone components of The Arby’s Charity Tour are golf tournaments and auctions, the Arby’s Charity Tour bus, and the sale of “Make a Difference” pin-Ups at local Arby’s restaurants.

“The Tour provides a great opportunity for civic leaders to join community organizations for the common good,” said Michael Howe, co-chairman of the Arby’s Charity Tour and CEO of Arby’s, Inc. “Both adults and children have a wonderful time at the events, and thanks to the continued support of Arby’s franchisees and suppliers, we’ve been able to exceed our ambitious fundraising goals.”

Arby’s proprietary forty-five-foot, state-of-art charity bus is a constant at each event throughout the country. It serves as the backdrop for character building lessons in ethics and values taught by community business leaders at local schools. Through the “Arby’s Valuable Values” program, sponsored by Arby’s, Inc., young elementary students learn principles that encourage self-development with a sense of purpose.

The Arby’s Foundation( Dinner & Auction and championship golf tournament are the primary fundraising arms of The Arby’s Charity Tour. This year’s auction included a touching rendition of the national anthem sung by one of the children sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The following day, Arby’s franchisees, employees and vendor partners took to the greens at Heron Bay in Coral Springs for The Arby’s Charity Tour Championship Golf Tournament. National sponsors for the Arby’s Charity Tour include Arby’s, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Federated Insurance, Fletcher Martin Ewing, McCain Anchor Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, RTM Restaurant Group, Sybra, Inc., and Triarc Companies, Inc. Last year the event raised $202,000.

Since its inception in 1996, the Arby’s Charity Tour has raised $6.2 million for the Arby’s Foundation and its beneficiaries: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs and other local charities in the communities where the tournaments take place. The Arby’s Foundation is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, grant-giving organization dedicated to the support and nurturing of families in need and their children.

In 2001, the Tour visited 92 cities in 24 states, logged 70,000 miles, completed 48 recruiting drives for charities, conducted 15 golf tournaments, and distributed 75,000 giveaways.

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