Michiganers Among First Inductees to White Castle Cravers Hall of Fame

Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from White Castle Systems, Inc.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten "cravers" will be inducted to
 the Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held in Columbus, Ohio, on May 17, 2001.
 The Detroit area is well represented in this group -- one woman lives in
 Warren and an entire family of cravers resides in Dearborn.
     White Castle is introducing the Cravers Hall of Fame as a means of
 recognizing their customers and the role they have played in the success of
 the company as it celebrates its 80th anniversary. It is a way to honor all
 those customers who are dedicated to White Castle and who go the extra mile in
 order to celebrate their crave for the unique, steam-grilled taste of the
 little square hamburgers.
     The uniqueness of the White Castle experience has allowed the company to
 reach many customers on an emotional level, rather than serving just as a
 place to fill their stomachs. Many customers have acknowledged the impact
 White Castle has had on their lives. There is a loyal following of people who
 consider White Castle to be a defining part of their person (some more
 literally than others), or as a backdrop for defining moments in their lives.
     The ten finalists for the Hall of Fame honor were specially chosen from
 more than 1100 nominees. The 1187 entries were read and narrowed down to 19
 very worthy entries. The final 10 were painstakingly chosen from those 19.
     "The response we received was overwhelming. We read many great stories
 from people of all over the country. It was difficult to narrow it down to
 only ten inductees for 2001," said Jamie Richardson, White Castle Director of
 Marketing. "We're thrilled to celebrate these dedicated individuals -- they
 are the creme de la creme of Cravers."
     People in the Detroit area seem to have made White Castle a real family
 affair.
 
     A New Kind of Castle in Scotland
     Colleen Kish of Warren, Michigan, wouldn't let the Atlantic Ocean get in
 the way of helping her brother, Dan Mack, enjoy White Castle hamburgers. When
 she visited him at his US Navy station in Holy Loch, Scotland, she brought 25
 cheeseburgers with her. He brought some burgers aboard the USS Simon Lake the
 next day, and the aroma wafted through the ship. Many aboard stopped by to
 comment that his shop smelled like White Castle. A few lucky ones received a
 cheeseburger, the rest were told it was just wishful thinking.
 
     Santa's Favorite
     On Christmas Eve 1998, William, Christina and Joshua Thomason of Dearborn,
 Michigan, turned to White Castle during a crisis: They were on their way home
 when they realized that they had no cookies to leave for Santa. This was much
 to the dismay of 3 year-old Joshua who thought Santa would be offended by the
 slight and not leave any presents. They looked around for an open store at
 which to buy cookies, but nothing was open -- until they saw the White Castle.
 They stopped and picked up some hamburgers.  They left the hamburgers out on
 the cookie plate with a beer. They have carried on the tradition since, and
 now if you ask Joshua, now 5-1/2, what Santa likes best, he replies "Two White
 Castle burgers and a beer!"
     Other cravers from across the United States are also being honored in the
 ceremony.
 
     Interior Decorating You Crave
     Michele Purcell of Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, has made White Castle a daily
 part of her life. And she doesn't even live near a location. When Purcell
 can't cajole one of her traveling co-workers to pick up some hamburgers for
 her, she has her own way of creating the White Castle experience; she goes
 home. Her kitchen motif is all White Castle. She created a stencil and made a
 border around the room featuring the profile of a White Castle building. Her
 cabinets are stocked with memorabilia, including cups, toys, and anything else
 White Castle she can get her hands on. Her latest investment is a stained
 glass window from a White Castle built in 1929, which she purchased off eBay.
     If all this isn't enough, Purcell has a tattoo of the White Castle
 building profile on her ankle.
 
     Hover-Crave
     Gera-Lind Kolarik and her coworkers at a Chicago TV news program cured
 their crave in a unique way in 1984. They had just completed a full day of
 work when they boarded a helicopter and set out for southern Illinois to cover
 breaking news. They knew there would be no chance to get food at the scene,
 and were lamenting this fact when they flew over Kolarik's hometown of Berwyn.
 She saw the familiar White Castle restaurant and an empty field nearby. She
 instructed the pilot to land there.  "I then ran the two blocks and ordered 25
 White Castles, and some shakes and onion rings.  I dashed back to the
 helicopter and we were off again. We ate as we hovered over the scene and also
 during the live shots."
 
     Queen City White Castle Queen
     Debbie Gardner of Cincinnati, is the very proud winner of the 2000 White
 Castle Crave Time Cook-off, the annual recipe contest that encourages cravers
 to submit recipes using 10 White Castle hamburgers. Gardner takes her reign
 very seriously and is the self-proclaimed "Queen of White Castle." She has
 prepared the winning recipe on several local news programs and has personally
 distributed more than 200 copies of it.
     Gardner also celebrated Christmas the White Castle way. She and her family
 got into the spirit by reproducing the White Castle logo frame as well as the
 word "crave" in Christmas lights on their house. They also made gift packages
 creating Santas out of hamburger boxes and filling them with White Castle gift
 certificates. The boxes also made appearances in the garland and tree
 decorations.
     Gardner sums up her dedication to the crave in the following way, "White
 Castle is not just a restaurant. It's more. It's an 'experience.' For a tiny
 bit of money, customers can come in as they are, be helped by delightful
 people, quench their crave, and create yet another heartfelt memory of fun and
 good times in a spotless environment."
 
     Trans Craver Airlines
     John Shelly of Miami helped others satisfy "the crave." When he began
 working the late shift for TWA airlines in St. Louis in 1962, he and his co-
 workers often ordered their meal from White Castle -- all 75 of them. It took
 a few times before the staff would believe that their request for several
 hundred hamburgers was legitimate.
     Over the years many in the group were transferred to other parts of the
 country -- areas without White Castles. "During the day, we would take calls
 from all over the (TWA) system requesting us to send them a certain amount of
 White Castles on the next flight." On one occasion they sent 500 White Castle
 hamburgers to an agent in the western U.S. A flight attendant kept them warm
 on the flight. "We heard from the management on that one, because this flight
 was not a meal flight, but the passengers could smell the burgers heating up
 in the oven."
     For others, White Castle has set the scene for some fond memories.
 
     Royal Romance
     In 1966, Debbie Martin of Indianapolis began dating Lloyd, who worked the
 late shift. The only economical place to go after he got off work was White
 Castle. Unfortunately they broke up, but she continued to go to White Castle
 on paydays when she would treat her mother and six younger siblings to dinner
 when her father was working out of town. On one such occasion, Lloyd just
 happened to be in line behind them. Debbie and Lloyd decided to sit together
 and talk. The romance was rekindled and they were married April 26, 1969. And
 after 32 years of marriage they still share their affection for each other --
 and White Castle.
 
     Extra Mustard Virtuoso
     Gerald Benson, 70, of New Hope, Minn., began visiting White Castle as a
 young boy with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. He liked the hamburgers so
 much that the only way his mother could convince him to go to his violin
 lessons was to give him and his brother a dime so they could stop at White
 Castle and each get a hamburger. "We were such Saturday regulars, the waitress
 would see us coming and would regularly have our two White Castles (with extra
 mustard) waiting when we opened the door."
     He credits White Castle with keeping him nourished through college when he
 would pick up some burgers after class and eat them on his way to work. Benson
 is still a regular at White Castle where still eats the burgers with extra
 mustard. And he still plays the violin.
 
     Over the River and Through the Woods to White Castle We Will Go
     David Silvian never realized how much he loved the taste of White Castle
 hamburgers while he was growing up in Cincinnati. He had some idea when he
 moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and would regularly order 200-300 hamburgers for
 the crew at the TV station where he worked. But now that he lives in Bogart,
 Georgia, there is no doubt. At least once a month, Silvian makes a trip to the
 location closest to him -- near Nashville, Tennessee, a 5 hour drive each way,
 just to quell his crave.  "Over the past 10 years, I have made 290 trips just
 for a White Castle," says Silvian.
 
     A Family Tradition
     Ami Kane, of Avon, Indiana, is carrying on the three-generation love
 affair her family has had with White Castle. The tradition began in 1932 when
 her grandfather, Charles, was 14. He would hoard the money he earned peddling
 newspapers during the Great Depression until he could afford to buy a sack of
 Slyders. These he would promptly devour in one sitting. Her grandfather passed
 on his love of White Castles to his son (her father), Scott, by frequently
 taking him to a nearby location. In turn, her father began taking her and her
 brother to White Castle himself. "I can remember even as a small child
 anticipating the occasions when we would go to the drive-through. My brother
 and I would be handed the warm, steaming, white and blue paper bags - the
 perfect heater on a cold, winter day. It was one of the most inviting and
 delicious smells that I can recall."
     After she placed third in the state in a marching band competition, her
 parents allowed her to pick anywhere she wanted to eat. "Where did I go? You
 guessed it! That magical palace, White Castle."
     The 10 inductees will receive a commemorative plaque in a special
 ceremony. Another plaque will remain on display at the White Castle home
 office.  Finalists for the contest were chosen from entries submitted to the
 White Castle website and mailed to the home office in Columbus, Ohio. White
 Castle will continue to honor new inductees to the Cravers Hall of Fame every
 May, which is National Hamburger Month.
     White Castle is privately owned and operates 250 locations in 12 states.
 The company was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921, and was the first fast
 food hamburger restaurant.
 
 

SOURCE White Castle Systems, Inc.
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten "cravers" will be inducted to
 the Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held in Columbus, Ohio, on May 17, 2001.
 The Detroit area is well represented in this group -- one woman lives in
 Warren and an entire family of cravers resides in Dearborn.
     White Castle is introducing the Cravers Hall of Fame as a means of
 recognizing their customers and the role they have played in the success of
 the company as it celebrates its 80th anniversary. It is a way to honor all
 those customers who are dedicated to White Castle and who go the extra mile in
 order to celebrate their crave for the unique, steam-grilled taste of the
 little square hamburgers.
     The uniqueness of the White Castle experience has allowed the company to
 reach many customers on an emotional level, rather than serving just as a
 place to fill their stomachs. Many customers have acknowledged the impact
 White Castle has had on their lives. There is a loyal following of people who
 consider White Castle to be a defining part of their person (some more
 literally than others), or as a backdrop for defining moments in their lives.
     The ten finalists for the Hall of Fame honor were specially chosen from
 more than 1100 nominees. The 1187 entries were read and narrowed down to 19
 very worthy entries. The final 10 were painstakingly chosen from those 19.
     "The response we received was overwhelming. We read many great stories
 from people of all over the country. It was difficult to narrow it down to
 only ten inductees for 2001," said Jamie Richardson, White Castle Director of
 Marketing. "We're thrilled to celebrate these dedicated individuals -- they
 are the creme de la creme of Cravers."
     People in the Detroit area seem to have made White Castle a real family
 affair.
 
     A New Kind of Castle in Scotland
     Colleen Kish of Warren, Michigan, wouldn't let the Atlantic Ocean get in
 the way of helping her brother, Dan Mack, enjoy White Castle hamburgers. When
 she visited him at his US Navy station in Holy Loch, Scotland, she brought 25
 cheeseburgers with her. He brought some burgers aboard the USS Simon Lake the
 next day, and the aroma wafted through the ship. Many aboard stopped by to
 comment that his shop smelled like White Castle. A few lucky ones received a
 cheeseburger, the rest were told it was just wishful thinking.
 
     Santa's Favorite
     On Christmas Eve 1998, William, Christina and Joshua Thomason of Dearborn,
 Michigan, turned to White Castle during a crisis: They were on their way home
 when they realized that they had no cookies to leave for Santa. This was much
 to the dismay of 3 year-old Joshua who thought Santa would be offended by the
 slight and not leave any presents. They looked around for an open store at
 which to buy cookies, but nothing was open -- until they saw the White Castle.
 They stopped and picked up some hamburgers.  They left the hamburgers out on
 the cookie plate with a beer. They have carried on the tradition since, and
 now if you ask Joshua, now 5-1/2, what Santa likes best, he replies "Two White
 Castle burgers and a beer!"
     Other cravers from across the United States are also being honored in the
 ceremony.
 
     Interior Decorating You Crave
     Michele Purcell of Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, has made White Castle a daily
 part of her life. And she doesn't even live near a location. When Purcell
 can't cajole one of her traveling co-workers to pick up some hamburgers for
 her, she has her own way of creating the White Castle experience; she goes
 home. Her kitchen motif is all White Castle. She created a stencil and made a
 border around the room featuring the profile of a White Castle building. Her
 cabinets are stocked with memorabilia, including cups, toys, and anything else
 White Castle she can get her hands on. Her latest investment is a stained
 glass window from a White Castle built in 1929, which she purchased off eBay.
     If all this isn't enough, Purcell has a tattoo of the White Castle
 building profile on her ankle.
 
     Hover-Crave
     Gera-Lind Kolarik and her coworkers at a Chicago TV news program cured
 their crave in a unique way in 1984. They had just completed a full day of
 work when they boarded a helicopter and set out for southern Illinois to cover
 breaking news. They knew there would be no chance to get food at the scene,
 and were lamenting this fact when they flew over Kolarik's hometown of Berwyn.
 She saw the familiar White Castle restaurant and an empty field nearby. She
 instructed the pilot to land there.  "I then ran the two blocks and ordered 25
 White Castles, and some shakes and onion rings.  I dashed back to the
 helicopter and we were off again. We ate as we hovered over the scene and also
 during the live shots."
 
     Queen City White Castle Queen
     Debbie Gardner of Cincinnati, is the very proud winner of the 2000 White
 Castle Crave Time Cook-off, the annual recipe contest that encourages cravers
 to submit recipes using 10 White Castle hamburgers. Gardner takes her reign
 very seriously and is the self-proclaimed "Queen of White Castle." She has
 prepared the winning recipe on several local news programs and has personally
 distributed more than 200 copies of it.
     Gardner also celebrated Christmas the White Castle way. She and her family
 got into the spirit by reproducing the White Castle logo frame as well as the
 word "crave" in Christmas lights on their house. They also made gift packages
 creating Santas out of hamburger boxes and filling them with White Castle gift
 certificates. The boxes also made appearances in the garland and tree
 decorations.
     Gardner sums up her dedication to the crave in the following way, "White
 Castle is not just a restaurant. It's more. It's an 'experience.' For a tiny
 bit of money, customers can come in as they are, be helped by delightful
 people, quench their crave, and create yet another heartfelt memory of fun and
 good times in a spotless environment."
 
     Trans Craver Airlines
     John Shelly of Miami helped others satisfy "the crave." When he began
 working the late shift for TWA airlines in St. Louis in 1962, he and his co-
 workers often ordered their meal from White Castle -- all 75 of them. It took
 a few times before the staff would believe that their request for several
 hundred hamburgers was legitimate.
     Over the years many in the group were transferred to other parts of the
 country -- areas without White Castles. "During the day, we would take calls
 from all over the (TWA) system requesting us to send them a certain amount of
 White Castles on the next flight." On one occasion they sent 500 White Castle
 hamburgers to an agent in the western U.S. A flight attendant kept them warm
 on the flight. "We heard from the management on that one, because this flight
 was not a meal flight, but the passengers could smell the burgers heating up
 in the oven."
     For others, White Castle has set the scene for some fond memories.
 
     Royal Romance
     In 1966, Debbie Martin of Indianapolis began dating Lloyd, who worked the
 late shift. The only economical place to go after he got off work was White
 Castle. Unfortunately they broke up, but she continued to go to White Castle
 on paydays when she would treat her mother and six younger siblings to dinner
 when her father was working out of town. On one such occasion, Lloyd just
 happened to be in line behind them. Debbie and Lloyd decided to sit together
 and talk. The romance was rekindled and they were married April 26, 1969. And
 after 32 years of marriage they still share their affection for each other --
 and White Castle.
 
     Extra Mustard Virtuoso
     Gerald Benson, 70, of New Hope, Minn., began visiting White Castle as a
 young boy with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. He liked the hamburgers so
 much that the only way his mother could convince him to go to his violin
 lessons was to give him and his brother a dime so they could stop at White
 Castle and each get a hamburger. "We were such Saturday regulars, the waitress
 would see us coming and would regularly have our two White Castles (with extra
 mustard) waiting when we opened the door."
     He credits White Castle with keeping him nourished through college when he
 would pick up some burgers after class and eat them on his way to work. Benson
 is still a regular at White Castle where still eats the burgers with extra
 mustard. And he still plays the violin.
 
     Over the River and Through the Woods to White Castle We Will Go
     David Silvian never realized how much he loved the taste of White Castle
 hamburgers while he was growing up in Cincinnati. He had some idea when he
 moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and would regularly order 200-300 hamburgers for
 the crew at the TV station where he worked. But now that he lives in Bogart,
 Georgia, there is no doubt. At least once a month, Silvian makes a trip to the
 location closest to him -- near Nashville, Tennessee, a 5 hour drive each way,
 just to quell his crave.  "Over the past 10 years, I have made 290 trips just
 for a White Castle," says Silvian.
 
     A Family Tradition
     Ami Kane, of Avon, Indiana, is carrying on the three-generation love
 affair her family has had with White Castle. The tradition began in 1932 when
 her grandfather, Charles, was 14. He would hoard the money he earned peddling
 newspapers during the Great Depression until he could afford to buy a sack of
 Slyders. These he would promptly devour in one sitting. Her grandfather passed
 on his love of White Castles to his son (her father), Scott, by frequently
 taking him to a nearby location. In turn, her father began taking her and her
 brother to White Castle himself. "I can remember even as a small child
 anticipating the occasions when we would go to the drive-through. My brother
 and I would be handed the warm, steaming, white and blue paper bags - the
 perfect heater on a cold, winter day. It was one of the most inviting and
 delicious smells that I can recall."
     After she placed third in the state in a marching band competition, her
 parents allowed her to pick anywhere she wanted to eat. "Where did I go? You
 guessed it! That magical palace, White Castle."
     The 10 inductees will receive a commemorative plaque in a special
 ceremony. Another plaque will remain on display at the White Castle home
 office.  Finalists for the contest were chosen from entries submitted to the
 White Castle website and mailed to the home office in Columbus, Ohio. White
 Castle will continue to honor new inductees to the Cravers Hall of Fame every
 May, which is National Hamburger Month.
     White Castle is privately owned and operates 250 locations in 12 states.
 The company was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921, and was the first fast
 food hamburger restaurant.
 
 SOURCE  White Castle Systems, Inc.