By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Restaurants | Issue: December 2012
Lori Selby, Eric Selby, Julie Selby, Mike Solak and Major Dan Rooney.
In 2011, Mazzio’s Italian Eatery celebrated 50 years in business. According to Greg Lippert, president and CEO, the company has about 1,900 employees in the Tulsa area, many of whom have served in the armed forces. As part of their 50th anniversary, Mazzio’s chose to honor these employees by inviting Major Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, to speak to the company. In addition, Mazzio’s donated a percentage of each pizza sale to the Folds of Honor Foundation, beginning in mid-June of this year and lasting through August. Mazzio’s was proud to present the foundation with a check for $10,000.
Major Dan Rooney founded the Folds of Honor Foundation to ensure that no family is left behind in the fight to preserve American freedom. Scholarships and other forms of assistance are given to the spouses or children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to the United States.
The Selbys, family of Mazzio’s founder Ken Selby, presented the $10,000 check along with Mazzio’s manager Mike Solak, who served three tours of duty in Iraq, to Major Dan Rooney.
“We are very pleased to be able to support such a worthwhile cause,” said Lippert. “Too often we hear the news of men and women who have lost their lives serving our country. This organization is invaluable in helping these soldiers’ families find healing, hope and opportunity through scholarships and other assistance.”
The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, golf course owner, PGA Professional and USGA member. A major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. After returning from his second tour, Major Rooney witnessed a profound situation that drove him to create the Folds of Honor Foundation.
According to the Folds of Honor website, over 700,000 soldiers have been killed or disabled in the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 87 percent of the dependents affected by the recent wars do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance, meaning that over a million Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn dependents need assistance. For more information, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.
Lippert says that Mazzio’s has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from both employees of the company as well as customers in their support of this incredible organization. “Everyone is very connected to the cause, and Mazzio’s is proud to be a part of it.”
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.