Hardee’s restaurants operated by Boddie-Noell Enterprises across Virginia raised more than $55,000 for Special Olympics Virginia. The annual fundraiser, called “Buy a Star, Be a Fan,” in which stars sell for $1, began on October 13 and ran through November 9. The funds raised this year will help more than 1,000 Special Olympics athletes participate in the 2010 summer games.

Boddie-Noell Enterprises, the largest Hardee’s franchise operator in the U.S., has been partners with the Special Olympics Virginia for 29 years, contributing in excess of $1 million to the organization during this time. Boddie-Noell owns and operates 180 Hardee’s restaurants across Virginia.

“The ‘Be a Fan, Buy a Star’ Campaign grew significantly in 2009 and a lot of good will be done with that much-needed funding,” says Rick Jeffrey, president of Special Olympics Virginia. “The significant thing about Boddie-Noell is that they not only raise funds for Special Olympics and volunteer, but that they employee our Special Olympics athletes and people with intellectual disabilities in their restaurants.”

Boddie-Noell and Hardee’s also partner in the Special Olympics Virginia “Training for Life” program, by employing persons with intellectual disabilities, some of whom are Special Olympics athletes, and providing a welcome workplace environment that breeds success.

“We are extremely appreciative of all the customers who supported Hardee’s fundraising success this year,” says Jerry Allsbrook, chief marketing officer for Boddie-Noell and a board member of Special Olympics Virginia. “We look forward to seeing all the local athletes and their families in Richmond at the 2010 Summer Games.”

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