Restaurant launches campaign to raise money for military vets

Patrons of Grand Junction’s two Carl’s Jr. restaurants can lend a hand to military families and veterans when they grab a bite to eat.

CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent company to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains, launched this week a national campaign known as Stars for Troops to raise money for military charities. The campaign started Monday at Hardee’s and starts today at Carl’s Jr.

For every dollar donated, customers receive a Stars for Troops cut-out to personalize and display in the restaurant, as well as restaurant coupons valued at more than $10 to use toward future purchases.

The funds raised through the campaign, which will run through Memorial Day, will support local and national programs of Homes for Our Troops and USA Cares. Homes for Our Troops builds specially adapted homes for veterans injured in combat since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, while USA Cares helps post-Sept. 11 families with financial and advocacy support.

Scott Mercier, who owns the Carl’s Jr. franchises at 2842 North Ave. and 2468 U.S. Highway 6&50, said he hopes to raise $2,000 during the campaign, while CKE Restaurants hopes to generate $1 million in donations. The money raised locally will go to a yet-to-be-determined organization that benefits veterans, and the Grand Valley will receive a portion of the dollars raised in the national campaign, he said.

Mercier said the timing of the campaign, though unintentional, couldn’t have been better, given this week’s killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

“I would just say we’re blessed to live the lives we have and enjoy the freedoms we do because of veterans,” he said.

Prior to Stars for Troops, CKE Restaurants helped raise more than $4 million over six years in support of breast cancer screenings and research.


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