Wendy's Walk for Kids distributes over $190,000 for children in Upstate New York

ENDICOTT, New York– Representatives from area organizations were on hand today to receive over $190,000 in donations from the 4th Annual Wendy’s Walk for Kids, which took place in August at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.

Event co-founder and local Wendy's franchisee Anne Williams says, “Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Through the Wendy’s Walk for Kids fundraising efforts, we are able to assist programs whose purpose is to help this segment of our population realize their full potential, regardless of their life experiences and current circumstances.”

The Wendy’s Walk for Kids has increasingly been able to do just that. In the four years since its inception, the Walk has experienced tremendous growth, with just 150 walkers raising over $40,000 in 2009 to over 700 walkers raising more than $190,000 this year.

While the Walk at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open is the signature event of this organization, several fundraising activities, such as The Binghamton Senators Charity Golf Classic, area restaurant nights, game nights with the Binghamton Mets, Gertrude Hawk candy bar sales, and much more, take place throughout the year. These year-round fundraising efforts have combined for the more than $190,000 being distributed this year to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Make-A-Wish of Central New York, YMCA of Broome County, and Catholic Charities of Broome County.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption plans to use the funds raised from the Walk to support their proven program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, finding families for children in foster care, in Broome County. Rita Soronen, President & CEO for the Foundation, says, “Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is making a difference for thousands of children—one child at a time. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption awards grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals who implement proactive, child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on moving America’s longest-waiting children from foster care into adoptive families.”

When asked how Make-A-Wish of Central New York was planning to use their portion of the money raised from the Walk, President & CEO, Diane Kuppermann responded, “Currently, there are 9 wishes in process in the Southern Tier. At an average cost of $9,000 per wish, the money from the Wendy’s Walk will help make these wishes come true. As significant as the money, is the public awareness the event created for Make-A-Wish Central New York as a local charity. The impact will benefit the organization and local children long after these wishes are granted and the money has been spent.”

Catholic Charities of Broome County will be using funds raised by the Wendy’s Walk to shore up its many children’s programs that have received recent cutbacks. Lori Accardi, Executive Director, commented, “We have seen a lot of erosion of support for vital services for children and their families. Because of this funding, innovative anti-bullying programs such as ‘How to Make Friends with a Butterfly,’ will continue to be provided.”

Gareth Sansom, CEO of the YMCA of Broome County, shares, “The YMCA is thrilled to have been a part of the Wendy’s Walk for Kids as it has allowed us to collaborate with fellow non-profits and ultimately strengthens the foundations of our community.”

In 2013, the Wendy’s Walk for Kids will once again take place during the Final Round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on Sunday, August 18th. Organizers hope to have 1,000 walkers raise over $225,000 next year, benefiting the following charities: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Handicapped Children’s Association, Broome County Urban League and Mom’s House.

“The response to and enthusiasm for the Wendy’s Walk for Kids has been amazing and we look forward to its continued success at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open,” says Tournament Director, John Karedes.

The Wendy’s Walk for Kids welcomes everyone in the community to join them in 2013.

For more information, please visit www.wendyswalk.com.