ROCKINGHAM — Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries is working to help children with autism spectrum disorders in Richmond County.
The restaurant celebrated 10 years in Rockingham on Saturday and its Andy’s Charitable Foundation presented a $1,500 donation to the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Richmond County Chapter, said Emily Tucker, a chapter leader and president of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce.
Hwy 55 franchise owner J.R. Cottle met Scott and Emily Tucker when he first came to Rockingham and “quickly became attached” to their son, Scott, who was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old.
“Scott is now 14 and very much a growing teenager and does not let his life challenges get him down,” Emily Tucker said. “Anyone who meets Scott falls in love with him and his personality.”
In April 2014, Scott Tucker was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes and spent four days in the Jeff Gordon Pediatric Hospital’s intensive care unit in Concord.
“Today on behalf of the Autism Society of North Carolina and other kids like Scott, we accepted a check that will be used to help children with autism in Richmond County,” Tucker said.
Founded in 1991 as Andy’s Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers, Hwy 55 changed its name in a 2012 nod to N.C. 55, the 193-mile state highway linking eastern North Carolina with the Triangle. The chain of 109 retro-themed diners is based in Mount Olive and the first Andy’s restaurant was opened in Goldsboro.
The Andy’s Charitable Foundation grew from a charity golf tournament Hwy 55 founder and president Kenney Moore started in 2000. To date, the foundation has raised more than $1.4 million for nonprofit groups and charitable causes.