As part of more than 80 years of dedication to the communities it serves, The Krystal Company is focusing even more on supporting local schools with a prestigious, first-time award recognizing the involvement and spirit of one very special teacher—Crystal Friday. Brought to the attention of Krystal by Country-Music Star Jimmy Wayne, Friday is retiring this year after inspiring children for 37 years, including Wayne.

Krystal and Wayne teamed up for the “Country Fried” menu and Country Fried Favorites Contest earlier this year, in which students could participate by creating an artistic sculpture. Sequoyah High School, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was selected for the most creative art piece and will be receiving a free Wayne concert catered by Krystal along with $5,000 in donated school supplies. Wayne’s own story became a powerful centerpiece of giving back, which focused on the importance of our community schools and teachers. With that focus, Krystal and Wayne are recognizing Friday at a luncheon that will take place at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta at 11 a.m. on September 29.

“There will never be enough words to express my gratitude for Ms. Friday and teachers across America,” Wayne says. “I am grateful that there are teachers and companies, like The Krystal Company and Coca-Cola, that are dedicated to making a difference in students’ lives.”

“At The Krystal Company, our hope for recognizing local schools and teachers is for them to receive some of the recognition they so richly deserve,” says Heather Schlesinger, director of calendar programs and promotions for The Krystal Company. “We can all remember a teacher who changed our lives and helped shape our future. For teachers, it’s a labor of love that often goes unnoticed. This award is simply our way of saying ‘thank you’ to teachers everywhere and to our communities that give us so much.”

Friday’s award is just one of many efforts The Krystal Company has contributed on behalf of neighborhood schools in the past few years. Creativity awards, back-to-school meal deals, give-back promotions, and the recently-launched Squaring is Caring program have all celebrated the importance and value of teachers, schools, extracurricular programs, and the families and students in their communities.

Wayne is able to articulate the value of education and strong teachers from his own experience. “There were many rules in the foster care system and group home, I just didn't follow them all,” Wayne says. “I was failing school, but she [Friday] made it a point to see that I didn’t become another ‘lost’ student.” Wayne will be on hand to help recognize Friday at the presentation.

Charitable Giving, News, Krystal