Colorado Springs Community Turns Out to Support Flying W Ranch
Customers of a Colorado Springs, Colo., Chick-fil-A reminisced and gave back every day during a weeklong fundraiser and awareness campaign that aims to eventually rebuild the Flying W Ranch. This beloved, working cattle ranch had been specializing in authentic western-style food and entertainment since 1953. In its high season, the ranch served more than 1,000 people a night. But it was destroyed by the infamous Waldo Canyon fire, which caused the evacuation of 32,000 residents and has been called the most destructive fire in state history.
Operator Randy Watson says the ranch lost 1,800 acres and burned three inches of top soil. He and his wife, Linda, who operate the restaurant at Garden of the Gods, decorated the restaurant with old memorabilia, photographs and the Flying W Ranch Foundation brought along an old vintage truck and its partially burned welcome sign.
"Because of the emotional connection, some people broke down in the drive-thru. Some people wept. It was very powerful and a very neat experience for the customers," Randy says. "We wanted to transform our Chick-fil-A into a piece of the ranch, and allow the community to experience the Flying W as best we could. It really helped."
The weeklong fundraiser in October collected $6,000 from the store's 15 percent donation of sales, as well as individual generous donations. The money will help re-seed the land and keep the land from washing away. The event had activities and entertainment, including decorating authentic horseshoes that survived the fire, Indian Dancer performances and a concert by the popular singing cowboys, the Flying W Wranglers.
"We love being involved in the community and giving back," Randy, who has been the Chick-fil-A owner/Operator for 12 years, says. "It's a perfect marriage with Chick-fil-A. Our heart is the same as Chick-fil-A, the same as Truett Cathy's heart. It's been a dream come true for us."
A Charitable Chick-fil-A
For the past 2 years, I have volunteered to work for a charity, called "Share Our Strength". It's a read more...