COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of loyal fans from across the country submitted personal, funny and heartfelt stories for a chance to be inducted into White Castle's Cravers Hall of Fame. Of the 830 submitted stories, White Castle is inducting 12 dedicated Cravers from six states on October 20, 2011.
A panel of judges narrowed 830 entries down to the top 43 stories. The judges used a point system and set criteria to evaluate each story based on the following: brand loyalty, creative presentation, originality and magnitude of the crave.
From the list of final entries, 12 new inductees were chosen plus three honorary inductees. The class of 2011 is flown into Columbus for a special ceremony at the White Castle home office followed by a private dinner at the Ohio Historical Society.
"The 2011 class of Cravers is extra special since they are inducted during White Castle's celebration of its 90th birthday," said Jamie Richardson, vice president of corporate relations. "Our Cravers are some of the most loyal customers out there and the Cravers Hall of Fame is one of our favorite White Castle events. Each year we find Craver stories that are more outrageous and memorable than the previous year."
In 2010, White Castle added the "Cravers in Extremis" distinguished category to the Cravers Hall of Fame. "Cravers in Extremis" is a public figure, celebrity or pop icon who has publicly shown their love of White Castle. This year, White Castle inducts three "Cravers in Extremis" – The Grumpy Gourmet Doral Chenoweth, Sgt. Bob Brush and Speaker of the House John Boehner. During the Castles at the Capitol event in June, Boehner was inducted into the Cravers Hall of Fame.
The Cravers Hall of Fame was launched in 2001. Since then, 8,810 people have applied for inclusion, but only 80 lucky Cravers have been inducted into this prestigious club of die-hard fans.
The class of 2011 inductees:
- Richard Crosby, Richmond, KY – "300 Days of Sliders" – The music professor and composer has such an extreme craving for White Castle that he eats at his favorite restaurant at least 300 days a year!
- Donnie Fisk, East Prairie, MO – "Surviving in Iraq on Sliders" - This soldier was deployed to Iraq in 2005. To survive the mundane military fare, Donnie would buy cases of frozen White Castle Sliders from the PX and stash them in his room. He ate Sliders every day and even carried his favorite food with him on missions.
- David Fong, Troy, OH – "Dedication to Autism Research" - This journalist wrote an emotional column in his local newspaper touting White Castle's dedication to battling autism. David's son was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder in 2009.
- Constance Huening, Cincinnati, OH – "90 Years of Craving" - This 90-year-old Craver was born the same year White Castle opened its first restaurant. Constance has been eating Sliders since she was a little girl and starts every year by eating her favorite sandwich on New Years Day.
- Steven Jones, Aransas Pass, TX – "Sliders in Disguise" - Steven's crave earned him a free first class seat on a domestic flight after a flight attendant noticed a sign on his package that read "HUMAN ORGAN TRANSPLANT TISSUE." What she didn't know was that the cooler really contained White Castle Sliders.
- Patrick Keller, Colesville, MD – "Cars, Planes and a Helicopter" - A member of the U.S. Navy fixed his White Castle crave by having Sliders transported by car, plane and helicopter over 2,400 miles in 12 hours to his base in British Columbia.
- Andrew Kusnirik, Ben Jones and Pat Voigtsberger, Hamilton, NJ – "Road Trip to Satisfaction" - Andrew and his two friends made a long road trip to White Castle and spent $55 on Sliders, fries, chicken sandwiches and more. They ate every last morsel before leaving the restaurant.
- Breanna Litzau, Desoto, MO – "Stays in the Family" - Breanna's grandfather absolutely loved White Castle. He ate his favorite Sliders every day until his death. Now 16-year-old Breanna carries on the family tradition of craving Sliders.
- Connie Lowe, Upper Marlboro, MD – "Five Generations of Cravers" - It all started with her Polish great grandmother who called the hamburgers "vimpies." Today, Connie's 33-year-old daughter joins her for trips to White Castle.
- Georgina Torres, Bronx, NY – "Exploring the Inner Crave" - Georgina and her friends of the NYPD Youth Explorers had been meeting weekly at a White Castle near the police precinct for the past five years until she recently joined the U.S. Army.
- Honorary inductee John Boehner, Speaker of the House
- Honorary inductee Doral Chenoweth, The Grumpy Gourmet
- Honorary inductee Sgt. Bob Brush
"White Castle has had a loyal fan base since 1921 and as a family-owned company, we always strive to give back to the legion of loyal Cravers who have supported us for 90 years," Richardson said. "Loyalty is a quality that is important to our company and it's important to the people we serve every day."
About White Castle
White Castle is a family-owned business based in Columbus, Ohio that owns and operates more than 400 White Castle restaurants in 11 states. The company was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1921 and is America's first fast-food hamburger chain. All White Castle Sliders are made from 100-percent USDA approved beef or 100-percent white meat chicken. This year, the company celebrates its 90th birthday with special events and promotions occurring throughout the year. For more information on White Castle, visit www.whitecastle.com.
SOURCE White Castle