February 07, 2012 // Franchising.com // LOUISVILLE, KY - It was a great party and an even better cause. Kentucky Fried Chicken named Joel Markland of Carmel, Ind. the recipient of KFC's Ultimate Wingman party with football legend and network TV sports commentator, Shannon Sharpe. Instead of keeping the party to himself, Joel hosted a bevy of staff, volunteers and former patients from the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent yesterday at his home. Markland is also donating the $10,000 in prize money, which was earmarked for a media room makeover in his home, to the hospital.
"As the father to three young girls, I want to teach them the importance of giving back. My kids will get a lot more than $10,000 worth of life lessons by being a part of something like this," Markland said.
KFC selected Joel Markland from nearly 1,000 football enthusiasts who tweeted @kfc_colonel why they wanted KFC and Sharpe to be their "wingmen" at the party for this year's big game. In addition to Sharpe's visit and the $10,000 in prize money, KFC also catered the party with KFC's crunchy, spicy Hot Wings.
"Joel Markland is the Ultimate Wingman, not only because he is such big sports fan, but more importantly, because of his commitment to serving his community," said Karen Sherman, senior director of public relations for KFC. "It's people like Joel, who serve as wingmen to their communities each and every day, who make this country so great. We are honored to have him as our winner."
KFC's Colonel Harland Sanders debuted his secret Original Recipe® of 11 herbs and spices more than 70 years ago, creating a legendary combination that has since become a favorite of chicken-lovers everywhere. The Colonel was much more than a talented cook though. In addition to developing one of the most famous recipes in the world, he was also passionate about bringing people together. Throughout 2012, the chain plans to highlight how it continues to bring families and friends together around the Colonel's timeless recipe.
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KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken® and Crispy Strips with home-style sides, Hot Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches including the Double Down® and the Doublicious®. There are more than 15,000 KFC outlets in 109 countries and territories around the world serving some 12 million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.) For more information, visit www.kfc.com. Follow KFC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KFC) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/kfc_colonel).
The Kentucky Fried Chicken concept was pioneered by Colonel Harland Sanders (1890-1980), whose cooking career began at age six. Sanders held jobs ranging from streetcar conductor to insurance salesman, but his cooking skills were a constant throughout his life. In 1930, Sanders operated a service station in Corbin, Ky., and filled the stomachs of hungry travelers who stopped in to fill up their gas tanks. Sanders soon moved his restaurant across the street when he could no longer keep up with the demand from travelers who he had been feeding at his kitchen table. In 1935, the Kentucky Governor made Sanders an honorary Kentucky Colonel for his contributions to the state's cuisine. Over the next decade, the Colonel perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique still used at KFC today. When Sanders was 65, a new interstate highway forced the closure of his restaurant and he was left with only his recipe for fried chicken and a $105 Social Security check. The Colonel hit the road and struck handshake deals with restaurant owners who agreed to sell his fried chicken. What began as a dream fueled by the Original Recipe, a no-quit attitude and a Social Security check grew into the world's largest chicken restaurant chain. Until he passed away in 1980 at the age of 90, the Colonel still traveled 250,000 miles a year visiting KFC restaurants around the world.