Florida girl wears Chick-fil-A uniform to ‘heroes’ day at school, becomes honorary employee


Hire this kid.

A young girl in Florida knew just what to wear to “Everyday Heroes” day at school — a Chick-fil-A uniform. And when the manager of a local restaurant caught wind of the 9-year-old’s idea, she was so touched that she invited the girl for a tour and crowned her an honorary employee.

Harper Mahaney recently went all-out for “Dress Up Like Everyday Heroes” day at Gulf Breeze Elementary School, paying tribute to a restaurant that always lifts her family’s spirits, according to her mother.

Harper Mahaney recently went all-out for "Dress Up Like Everyday Heroes" day at Gulf Breeze Elementary School, paying tribute to Chick-fil-A.

Harper Mahaney recently went all-out for “Dress Up Like Everyday Heroes” day at Gulf Breeze Elementary School, paying tribute to Chick-fil-A.
(Caitlin Mahaney)

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“In the midst of everything that’s happening, so many things outside of our control, I always want my kids to remember to stop and find joy,” Caitlin Mahaney told Fox News. “We stop at Chick-fil-A because it’s always a pleasure and they are always so gracious. I’m proud of Harper for recognizing the joy in the little things, and how they treat their customers.”

Anne Marie Stopper, right, invited Harper to be an honorary employee at the Chick-fil-A location she manages with her family.

Anne Marie Stopper, right, invited Harper to be an honorary employee at the Chick-fil-A location she manages with her family.
(Caitlin Mahaney)

Through a community Facebook group, Anne Marie Stopper, whose family manages the Gulf Breeze Chick-fil-A, caught wind of Harper’s big plan and offered some must-have accessories to complete the outfit.

“I was tagged in a post and thought, ‘Well, we can get her a name tag, but we can also do more than a name tag,'” Stopper told the Pensacola News Journal. “For her to think of our team as heroes during all that’s gone on [in the past year], it was so wonderful and inspiring for our team members who do this every day. So we felt, if she looked up to us like that, we need to do more for her.”

Chick-fil-A gifted Harper with a swag bag containing official gear like a cow-printed face mask, socks, a lanyard and more. Caitlin told the Journal her daughter was “so excited” to receive the goodies, and voiced her gratitude to Chick-fil-A for making Harper feel special.

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Better yet, the youngster’s Chick-fil-A dreams came to life when Stopper invited the girl for an unofficial “shift” at the chain as an honorary employee.

On. Jan 29, Harper spent a few hours at the Gulf Breeze Chick-fil-A after school, learning more about the inner workings of the restaurant.

On. Jan 29, Harper spent a few hours at the Gulf Breeze Chick-fil-A after school, learning more about the inner workings of the restaurant.
(Anne Marie Stopper)

On. Jan 29, Harper spent a few hours at the Gulf Breeze Chick-fil-A after school, learning more about the inner workings of the restaurant and even handing off a milkshake to her mother through the drive-thru.  

“My husband, our team and I had a great time with Harper. It was a little thing that brightened her day and the community of Gulf Breeze, which has been having a difficult time this past year,” Stopper told Fox News of the fun.

Harper even handed off a milkshake to her mother through the drive-thru.  

Harper even handed off a milkshake to her mother through the drive-thru.  
(Anne Marie Stopper)

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Little Harper’s enthusiasm brought some much-needed light to a dark time, Stopper explained, as businesses in Gulf Breeze has weathered a difficult year. Commerce is not only suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic, but also because Hurricane Sally knocked out an essential bridge into the community in September.  

For now, Caitlin is hanging onto her photos of Harper’s big day at Chick-fil-A, just in case she gets her wish and earns a job at the restaurant in about seven years.



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