Whataburger in Liberty donates to MDA

Employees of Liberty Whataburger and BurgerWorks present a mock check for $15,863 to representatives of the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Aug. 30. The money was raised through donations by BurgerWorks, the franchise that owns the Liberty Whataburger, and customers of the restaurant. The Liberty Whataburger is managed by MeLisa Casey, Sabrena Caldera and Tona Ligons. Also pictured are BurgerWorks management team members Dolores Flores, William Duke and Darwin Davis, Liberty Whataburger employee Cheryl Semien, who also brought in the most donations for the entire restaurant, and Carrie Dalton and Liz Ortega with MDA.

Whataburger customers in Liberty got behind the cause of the restaurant’s franchise owner, BurgerWorks, to collectively donate $15,863 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. These funds will help children living with MDA attend future summer camps.

With the pandemic stretching on, fundraising for charitable causes has become more challenging. BurgerWorks’ management team, having personally seen the value of past MDA camps, pushed forward nonetheless, offering to donate a large chunk this year. The rest of the funds were collected through the Whataburger app that is used to make in-store purchases. Cheryl Semien, a favorite face for many customers at the drive-through window, collected the most donations.

“We have nine units in our franchise and this unit has been consistently the leader. I have to credit our general manager MeLisa Casey for that. MeLisa has a giving heart – a servant’s heart – and she competes to win because she wants to do the most,” said Darwin Davis, a spokesperson for BurgerWorks, at the check presentation on Aug. 30. “Cheryl here, she is the one I hear about. Everywhere I go she makes our organization look good. Cheryl is responsible for $1,100 of the total amount.”

Cheryl Semien (left) is presented a Whataburger mug by Darwin Davis with BurgerWorks for raising the most donations as an employee for MDA.

Carrie Dalton, a national manager for MDA Foundation’s Giving and Family Activation, said that the continued donations from Whataburger and other sponsors made it possible for MDA children to attend scaled-down, virtual summer camps despite the pandemic.

“I cannot tell you how impactful this is. We still had a form of summer camp in 2020 and 2021. It was virtual, which was a learning experience for us all. The most exciting part is that we were able to involve more campers,” she said. “Forty-eight percent of our campers this year had never experienced any summer camp. We were able to empower this community. Even during an isolated time for us all, we were able to stay connected.”

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