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Applebee’s restaurants celebrating ‘Coaches Week’

Coaches at 7 schools to get free meals

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared Feb. 20-26, as the fourth annual “Coaches Week” in Georgia. In keeping with that declaration, Applebee’s restaurants in the metro area are celebrating athletic coaches this week, for being positive role models in the lives of youths.

The restaurant will offer coaches at greater Atlanta high schools a free entree, a year-round, 10-percent discount card, and a personalized certificate of appreciation, as part of its “Applebee’s Celebrates Coaches” program.

“[This year,] 2012, is the program’s best year yet, because we’re honoring nearly twice as many athletic coaches as we did last year,” said Gary Cockerill, director of marketing for Applebee’s Atlanta. “We know coaches at many Georgia schools now look forward to ‘Coaches Week,’ and we hope that, during the week, others across the state will be inspired to celebrate the coaches who impacted their lives.”

Forty-one high schools across the metro area were awarded vouchers for free meals. Coaches at seven high schools in Clayton and Henry counties were recognized as part of the program. The schools include Lovejoy, Morrow, Mt. Zion, and Mundy’s Mill high schools, in Clayton.

Over in Henry County, the schools are: Dutchtown, Stockbridge, and Union Grove high schools.

Lovejoy High’s athletic director, Arthur Carter, said the school’s athletic department received 23 vouchers for free meals, but have made no plans when they will be used. However, he said he was grateful for Gov. Deal and Applebee’s for recognizing the school. “It’s great!” said Carter. “We really work hard [at our school].”

Carter said he and other coaches at the school are so focused on coaching and trying to win championships, that they usually don’t take the time to enjoy any praise for their accomplishments.

“All we think about is winning, winning, winning,” said Carter. “We’re winning championships and going to state in everything we do –– that’s our focus.”

Barry Kincaid, Mundy’s Mill High’s athletic director, was surprised when a reporter informed him that his school was one of the four in Clayton selected for the Applebee’s free entree.

“Wow, that’s cool,” said Kincaid. “I didn’t even know they had already selected the schools.” Kincaid said he’s thankful for the recognition, and that coaches –– across the state –– could never receive too much praise.

“We like what we do, and we like helping our youths,” he said.

April Pearl, general manager of the Jonesboro Applebee’s, said this is the fourth year for the restaurant’s community initiative. In order for coaches to redeem their free entree voucher, she said, they will have to present the vouchers along with a photo I.D.

She said coaches can use the vouchers at any Applebee’s, they do not have to be used in their county of residence. The 10-percent discount cards are part of the promotion, but can only be used on the second purchase of an entree of equal or lesser value, added Pearl.