Gautier Sonic raising cash for Haiti - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier Sonic raising cash for Haiti

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Janice Morgan buys a drink at the Sonic Restaurant in Gautier almost every day.  Monday, she gave a little extra to help earthquake victims in Haiti.

"Everyone helped us during Katrina and I feel like we should help everyone else," Morgan said.

She's glad Sonic is making it easy to donate, thanks to an initiative by the store's Operations Manager Philip Varner. In the next month, he wants to raise $1,500 for the Salvation Army's relief efforts in Haiti.

"I thought it's a great opportunity because of my position here, that I might be able to get some help for these people," Varner said. "Even if I can only come up with $1,000 through a little fundraiser or something like that, its $1,000 that wouldn't have been come up with before."

He's raised more than $100 in the past few days and he's confident he'll reach his goal.  So confident in fact, he's putting his own money on in.

"If we did not come up with the $1,500, I would pay it out of my taxes," said Varner.  "And I will.  But its going to be a collective effort until then, and afterward if we don't have it, I'll pay."

Varner said the fundraiser works at Sonic because a lot of customers come with cash already on hand.   He said as long as there are a few extra dollars available, most people are more than willing to give that to charity.

"Response has been really good; the customers really want to help," Varner said.  "They also understand, the carhops too, they understand the need over there. Because, like everybody's saying, it reminds everybody of Katrina."

Varner is thrilled that even when money is tight, people are giving from the heart.

"It's just amazing with all our talk about our bad economy, we can find the time and pull into our pockets to give these guys some money."

"I think it's great," Morgan said.  "I think they ought to challenge all Sonics to do it."

Varner said he's also planning a fundraising event at the restaurant, which is located in Hwy 90. He also hopes to team up with other Sonic restaurants for help in fundraising.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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