January 29, 2015

Breast Cancer

Wings and a Care

Art Levy | 10/1/2007


Kelly Jo Dowd
[Photo: David Yellen/Corbis]

From a marketing standpoint, it seemed a natural fit, but Hooters traditionally shied away from anything to do with breast cancer awareness or fund raising.

“We were always a little reluctant to do it because of the name of the restaurant and the fact that people might think we were trying to be opportunistic or that perhaps we weren’t being sincere,” says Mike McNeil, the restaurant chain’s vice president for marketing.

Then came Kelly Jo Dowd. One of the original waitresses, Dowd became the first “Hooters Girl” to become a general manager.

Dowd was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She became a vocal advocate for self-exams and breast screenings, retelling her story of finding a lump but waiting too long (nearly a year) to see a doctor.

Dowd’s death last May eliminated any reluctance the chain had in supporting
breast cancer causes. In August, Hooters donated $250,000 to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. The money is part of a $2-million commitment the company has made toward funding breast cancer research.

“No one could ever question our motives now because Kelly Jo was one of our own, and we’re doing this in her name,” McNeil says.

Tags: Healthcare

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

How to let altruism be your guide
How to let altruism be your guide

Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, says altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Superbowl Poll: My favorite thing about the big game is:

  • The game itself (go team!)
  • Partying with friends (and the food + drink)
  • Watching commercials or halftime
  • Nothing, not into it

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe