On a rainy weekday morning, shift supervisor Shane McKinney reported to work at KFC in Neosho anticipating an average day. What he found, however, was anything but ordinary. The dining area at the restaurant sported purple and gold team colors for the Minnesota Vikings football team. A special table held a cake, Viking party beads, a Vikings horned helmet, Vikings jerseys and other swag.
McKinney and his dad have been lifelong fans. A long-time dream for both was to see the Vikings play at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, thanks to the KFC Foundation and their new Kentucky Fried Wishes program, Shane learned that their dream will become a reality.
McKinney arrived at work, a little concerned, according to his wife, Misty McKinney, who is a KFC manager. She also nominated her husband for the Kentucky Fried Wishes program but didn't know until Tuesday morning that Shane had been selected. According to Misty, her husband was a little concerned about coming into work.
"He thought he might be getting fired," she said.
Instead, McKinney was greeted by his wife, co-workers, and several KFC representatives including Homer Hunt, Chief Operations Officer and Nancy Fox, a board member for the KFC Foundation.
"I was shocked," McKinney said. "I was very shocked."
A lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, McKinney received a check for $3,2000 to provide for the trip and game. At the game, McKinney and his dad will receive VIP treatment. Among the items on the table were some mini-footballs and one regulation size pigskin that he will be able to get autographed by team members at the game.
"This is great," he said, as he donned a Vikings fan helmet. "I've been a fan my whole life. My dad was a fan and I just followed him."
McKinney has worked at KFC for the past three years. He's from Pittsburg, Kansas but now calls Neosho home.
According to a press release provided by KFC, McKinney has endured several adversities. He lost a daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) seven years ago. Four years ago, at another job,
McKinney lost three fingers and the tip of his pinky in a machine malfunction. Two of the fingers were reattached but attempts to reattach the third were unsuccessful. At times, the past injury causes his hand to cramp and make it unable to move his hand.
Despite that, KFC officials said that McKinney goes above and beyond for customers and always takes time to recognize fellow workers during their shift.
The KFC Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that provides charitable support to KFC U.S. restaurant employees through education, hardship assistance and personal finance programs. Chain founder Colonel Harlan Sanders was passionate about changing lives for the better and his tradition continues with the Foundation.
Earlier this year, the new Kentucky Fried Wishes program, a new employee wish-granting iniative began. The KFC Foundation has provided over $20 million dollars to more than 6,4000 KFC restaurant employees through education, hardship assistance and personal finance programs. The Kentucky Fried Wishes program will be making wishes come true for KFC employees like Shane McKinney this fall throughout the United States.
The Neosho KFC location is at 3075 Gardner-Edgwood Drive, serving up the Colonel's fried chicken seven days a week.