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Many of the Burger King restaurants are members of the Metro New York Franchisee Association, which is part of the National Franchisee Association, an international organization of Burger King franchisees.
According to MNYFA president, Mike Wallstein, every franchisee was asked to donate $150 to $250 per restaurant. The association then matched the first $25,000 that came in.
Wallstein said Burger King franchisees feel strongly about doing something positive and lasting for the September 11 victims' families. "This scholarship fund will be in existence for the next twenty-five years at least," Wallstein said. "That means we'll be helping these families realize their dreams for many years to come."
Wallstein says money continues to come in from Burger King restaurants across the country. Additionally, Burger King Corporation also contributed $200 for each of the forty-three restaurants it owns in the metro New York City area.
Wallstein will make the presentation to Mark Lowery of the Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America, the organization that administers the Fund, on Thursday at the Hilton Hotel in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.
The "Families of Freedom" Scholarship Fund was created to provide education assistance to financially needy children and spouses of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Eligible recipients include children and spouses of victims, including airplane crew and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon employees and visitors, as well as relief workers such as firefighters and police officers. Additionally, special sub-funds have been established for each of these groups so donations can be specifically designated.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Former President Bill Clinton are co-chairs. The goal of the Fund is to raise $100 million dollars. Any additional monies raised will go towards meeting higher needs.
Founded in 1989, the National Franchisee Association serves the Burger King Franchise community through nineteen regional associations across the United States and Canada.