Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? Dave Thomas

Up next on my list of notable adoptees: Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's.

Thomas was born to a single mother and adopted at six weeks old to couple in Michigan. Unfortunately, his adoptive mother passed away when he was 5 years old and he was mostly raised by his grandmother.  He wasn't told he was adopted until the age of 13.  'Life with my new parents was not easy….Yet without a permanent family of my own, I know I would not be where I am today, " he said in Parade Magazine.  

His grandmother worked in an eatery and he spent a lot of time with her there.  He loved food and thought if I owned a restaurant, as he told People magazine, "I could eat all I wanted for free. What could be better than that?"  He started Wendy's hamburger chain in 1969.  The restaurant was named after his fourth child Melinda Lou Thomas who's nickname was "Wenda".

I do love Wendy's.  Marlon used to bring me a Wendy's happy meal and a frosty at lunch when I was in high school.  We'd sit in the school parking lot and have lunch together everyday in the car before I went to work.  I had quite a collection of happy meal toys on my desk at the school office.  Yep, I worked in the school office my senior year.  I went to classes a half a day and other half I worked and got paid.  I would hear all the gossip going on at school, who was in trouble and what the teachers were like outside of class.  It was awesome! 

In 1990, at request of President George H. W. Bush, Dave Thomas began speaking out about adoption to encourage people to consider foster care.  In 1992, he established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to spread the word about adoption.  He testified before Congress in support of adoption tax credits and adoption legislation.  The Dave Thomas Foundation educates and provides grants for adoption.  You can find more information about the foundation here - Dave Thomas Foundation.  That's another for nurture.  Well Done! Mr. Thomas.

♦ Check out the Christmas ornament fundraising page. There are still a couple of ornaments left!

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