Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana (BBBSNEI) honored local entrepreneur and community leaders Dick and Deanna Freeland and Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne with the 2019 Don Wolf Award on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at its 46th Annual Gourmet Dinner. Named after Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana co-founder and former CEO of Do it Best Corporation, the Don Wolf Award is one of the most prestigious honors given by the agency to a community member or members that goes above and beyond the call of excellence in community service.
Dick Freeland first took a job at Pizza Hut in 1967 before moving with his wife Deanna and kids to Fort Wayne in 1972 to open his first location on East State near Coliseum Boulevard. For over 40 years, Dick poured into his employees, encouraging and empowering them, leading to the franchise booming now with over 45 Pizza Hut locations in Indiana and Ohio with multiple KFC restaurant locations.
Through his commitment to community service, volunteerism, and overall engagement, Dick has benefited many organizations. Lending his leadership, expertise, and guidance, he has touched many lives and made a big impact in Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. His love for people and building stronger communities shows through his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, The Rescue Mission, and Turnstone.
Dick, Deanna, and the entire Pizza Hut family have helped Big Brothers Big Sisters through immeasurable contributions, connections, and volunteers. In the spirit of mentorship and a drive to support the development of people, Pizza Hut goes the extra mile to provide for BBBS’ programs through product donations for meetings and match activities. Pizza Hut also provides a 50% discount to all Bigs and Littles for any dine-in experience, giving them an affordable way to eat out together, ultimately enhancing relationships for decades.
Of all their achievements, family remains the most important to the Freeland’s. Their legacy continues through the actions of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; and the entire Pizza Hut operations. It is a great honor for Big Brothers Big Sisters to celebrate the lifetime achievements of Dick and Deanna Freeland and Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne Indiana Inc. with the 2019 Don Wolf Award.
ABOUT THE DON WOLF AWARD The Don Wolf Award was established in 1999 and is given to an individual or individuals in recognition of their commitment and contribution to youth in our community. Don Wolf, former long-time CEO of Do it Best Corporation, was responsible for bringing Big Brothers Big Sisters to Northeast Indiana in 1972. Wolf has been a devoted supporter and benefactor of Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a past board president on both local and national levels.