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Mississippi College

Mississippi College Students and Alums Win Chick fil-A Contest

July 3, 2012

Camping overnight at the new Chick-fil-A in Brandon proved to be an unforgettable summer experience for Mississippi College senior Taylor Gressett.

After an interesting evening enduring Central Mississippi’s scorching temperatures, Gressett was all smiles the next morning as one of the 100 winners of free Chick-fil-A for a year. The contest celebrated the restaurant’s grand opening in the Rankin County community.

“It was really fun – a neat opportunity to meet people,” said the 21-year-old English literature major from Meridian. “I really do like Chick-fil-A.”

The June 28 event drew scores of campers from metro Jackson communities along with a few reporters. Winners received 52 food coupons to use at Chick-fil-A restaurants every week of the year. That’s a value of $350 or so per customer.

Gressett wasn’t the only big winner with Mississippi College connections.

Others who will feast on more chicken the next 12 months included Sarah Park, a 2012 MC graduate from Virginia Beach, Va. Sarah was the 18th person in line and didn’t mind the overnight wait. She arrived at 5:30 p.m. to beat the crowd.

To make their stay a little more comfortable amid the heat wave, Chick-fil-A employees handed out loads of  ice cream, milkshakes and meals. Many visitors brought books to read. For others, it was a case of friends spending quality time together.

Like many on hand for the event, Park is a firm believer in the Atlanta-based restaurant chain that closes every Sunday so employees and family members can attend church together. “They really have good service –it’s exceptional customer service,” she said.

Located nearby a McDonalds, the new Brandon restaurant gives hungry Rankin County residents another eating option. There’s already a busy Chick-fil-A at the Dogwood Festival mall in Flowood.

Other contest winners were MC graduates Mitchell McGinnis, Thomas Webb and Brett Barlow and MC junior Evan Ciarloni of Grenada. An international studies major from Clinton, McGinnis, 22, is working part-time at his alma mater this summer. Webb attends pharmacy school at the University of Mississippi, while Barlow will be a student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Mississippians will soon get another chance to try their luck and win free Chick-fil-A meals in Oktibbeha County. It’s part of the celebration tied to the restaurant’s July 12 grand opening in Starkville.

Sales continue to boom at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide. Sales of $4.1 billion were reported in 2011 up 13.08 percent over the previous year, the company says on its website. That’s a lot of chicken.

Photo: Mississippi College senior Taylor Gressett of Meridian, and 2012 MC graduates Mitchell McGinnis of Clinton and Sarah Park of Virginia Beach, Va. recently won a year's supply of Chick-fil-A, part of a contest to celebrate the opening of its new Brandon store on June 28.