Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham announced on Tuesday a $50,000 donation from HWY 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries, formerly known as Andy’s Burger’s Shakes & Fries. The donation is dedicated to general support for the new children’s museum.
Currently under construction, Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham will be the only museum of its kind in the region and will encourage the development of essential childhood skills through imaginative, creative play and learning activities for young children and their caregivers.
“As a small business owner with stores in the region, I believe it is important that our community has a vibrant quality of life, full of enriching experiences for all ages,” said J.R. Cottle, owner of HWY 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries. “I have a strong belief in giving back to the community and I am looking forward to having a place to take my children as soon as Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham opens.”
Cottle, who began working at the restaurant as a fry cook when he was 15 years old, bought his first HWY 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries at age 24 in Rockingham. He now owns stores in Rockingham, Lumberton, Locust and Lexington, S.C. Citing his experience as an employee and his perspective as a franchise owner, Cottle said he strives to set an example by taking on many different roles, ensuring the customer experience is the best it can be and making guests feel at home.
“Contributions from generous corporate citizens and small business owners like HWY 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries and J.R. are essential as we enter this final stretch of fund-raising,” said Russell Bennett, Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham campaign committee co-chair. “These dollars are going to help provide endowment funds, facility needs, exhibition fabrication and maintenance; not to mention bright, happy smiles from all of our children.”
Even as the museum moves forward on schedule towards an early 2013 opening, its leadership team continues to raise necessary funds as part of an ongoing comprehensive campaign. Money raised will prepare Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham to offer developmentally-appropriate activities for young children that include physical activities, live programming, exploration, the arts and more.
The Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham campaign was initiated with a commitment of $6.6 million from the Cole Foundation and the Richmond Community Foundation, gifts that were facilitated by The Foundation For The Carolinas. For more information, visit rockingham.discoveryplacekids.org.