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Family Matters

Founder of Carl’s Jr. Restaurants-A Friend of NBCF

Carl N. Karcher, founder of Carl’s Jr. fast-food chain, died January 11th at age 90. Carl started his business with a hot dog cart and grew it to more than 3,000 restaurants, which now include Hardee’s restaurants and 30,000 employees worldwide. He was a generous supporter of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please click here for a touching tribute to him.

Few people could light up a room like Carl Karcher. As the father of 12 children, he seemed to have a natural instinct for loving people. Caring about others was his default.

I had the opportunity to witness this great man in action on two occasions at Carl’s Jr. conferences. The first time I met him, it seemed that his declining health would keep him from walking to the platform and speaking. Yet, instead of hindering him from greeting the crowd, he seemed to push his health problems aside and took the microphone in hand to draw a roaring response from those in the audience. His effect on people was magnetic. He inspired people to succeed as he freely gave smiles and hugs, living his dream to the end of his life.

Over the past three years, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have generously supported NBCF. This year alone, they are expecting to donate their goal of $1,000,000. Carl Karcher was a shining light of reaching out to family and beyond. We at National Breast Cancer Foundation are deeply appreciative of his life and the way he used his influence to touch the lives of others. There is no doubt that women’s lives will continue to be saved because of his caring support.

Include Your Family

In this busy, face-paced world, it is easy to go from one day to another and crowd out important things such as family. At the beginning of 2008, an acquaintance told me he made two New Year’s Resolutions, one of which was to spend more time with his family. He was a single young man with a busy lifestyle, yet he was making a conscious effort to pick up the phone and call his family frequently. The beginning of your resolution to involve family in your life more is the first step toward caring about others.

If breast cancer has invaded your life, you know the value of connecting with people you love. If you do have family, let them be a part of your life. You need not be limited if you are alone. Gather friends around you and take them into your circle of love. Please go to MyNBCF to meet new friends. Allow those you care about to bare your burdens and share your joys.

The Law of Return

You may recall the story about how Anne Sullivan taught seven year-old Helen Keller, the deaf and blind girl, to communicate in a new way that opened her world of learning. Helen grew up to become a Radcliffe College graduate and famous author. The rest of the story; When Anne Sullivan became ill years later, it was Helen Keller who took care of her.

There is a return of goodness and kindness that you impart into the lives of others. Usually that return comes to us in unexpected ways. When Carl Karcher expanded his family to 12 children and invested his life in those outside of his family, I’m sure he never dreamed of his influence reaching worldwide. We at NBCF salute Carl Karcher for his example of caring for others.

Let 2008 be a year of reconnecting with family and friends.

Thought for Today:

“The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.” – Kendall Hailey

Live Life,


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