By Mark Carpenter –
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, several local Wendy’s franchisees recognized 150 high character student-athletes as School Winners at their annual Wendy’s High School Heisman recognition banquet. These students were honored at a banquet held at the Big Sandy Arena in Huntington, W. Va. The emcee for the event was Jim Treacy from WSAZ Radio and the keynote speaker was former basketball coach and motivational speaker Greg White. Four students attending the banquet received a $500 scholarship.
Like the Heisman Memorial Trophy, Wendy’s believes in the pursuit of athletic and academic excellence with integrity. Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have been running the same play to perfection: honoring more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed students. The partnership succeeds because we share a common set of values wherein going above and beyond is the norm. We want to honor students who do the same and profile their stories of perseverance as a way to inspire the tomorrow’s senior class.
The Wendy’s High School Heisman was created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Thomas dropped out of high school when he was 15 years old in order to work full-time and went on to become one of the most successful business men in history While this nontraditional path led to his prosperity, it always worried Dave that others would follow in his footsteps and expect to achieve similar fame and wealth by not finishing high school or attending college.
Faced with this dilemma at 61 years old, Dave enrolled at Coconut Creek High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and received his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Inspired by this moment and with a desire to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, he launched the Wendy’s High School Heisman program.
Twenty-two years later, the Wendy’s High School Heisman has honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors who share Wendy’s values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education, and excelling on the athletic fields.
The Wendy’s High School Heisman is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy, awarded each year to the top player in college football.
The Wendy’s Heisman winners from Adams County schools included: Bethany Swedberg-Adams County Christian School; Karley Young- Manchester High School; Ryan Shupert and Avery Harper- North Adams High School; Matti Nichols-Peebles High School; and Elijah McCarty and Alaina Harover- West Union High School.