Greater Pee Dee Business Journal November/December 2011 : Page 27

Throughout all the time spent on volunteerism, Snell stresses he has the support of his wife of 21 years, Fran, and his four children ages 20, 18, nine and five. spend more time with his family. It wasn’t long after that he moved to Flor-ence with his wife and three children (they now have four children) to take a position as operating partner with FATZ® restaurant in Florence. Snell has worked at FATZ for the last nine years, raising funds for local charities when he’s not running the business. Presently, he is involved with Francis Marion University in two charitable initiatives – Passionately Pink for the Cure® and a Heart Walk. For the past two years, he has spearheaded the local Calabash and Cops Tip-a-Cop event, raising $8,000 for South Carolina Special Olympics. He invites uniformed local law enforcement officers to wait tables in the restaurant and collect tips for the more than 21,000 athletes the non-profit organization supports. The successful program has spread to other FATZ restaurants in neighboring states. This month, Snell begins the plan-ning process with local law enforcement agencies to bring back Prom Promise, an annual initiative he formed in part-nership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and local school resource officers. Prom Promise encour-ages high school students to pledge against driving intoxicated on prom night. In exchange for their promise, FATZ rewards them with a discounted meal on prom night. So far, Snell says he has signed up more than 3,000 students for the program. It is so successful in Florence, the Lumberton, NC, sheriff ’s department contacted him to launch a program there this year. “I like to raise money for trust-worthy causes,” says Snell, who is now working to increase Florence area sports tourism through his new position as the president of the Florence and Pee Dee Area Sports Council. “We are trying to put heads in beds by encouraging sports organizations to move their tourna-ments to the Pee Dee.” Next up is the initiative to bring a soccer complex and basketball gymnasium to the area. “We need to pattern this project on the recently successful grand opening of the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center, where the whole community worked together,” Snell adds. In keeping with the focus on kids and tourism in his other volunteer work, Snell also sits on the board of directors of the local Convention & Visitors Bureau and the board of trust-ees for The King’s Academy, a Christian school in Florence. Throughout all the time spent on volunteerism, Snell stresses he has the support of his wife of 21 years, Fran, and his four children ages 20, 18, nine and five. “My wife is my support and cheerleader; I couldn’t ask for a better person,” says Snell when asked how he manages to find time for all his activities. He also points to a supportive FATZ management team and group of associates who free up some of his time to focus on charitable pursuits. He says helping the local schools and organizing charity functions at the race track will continue to fill up his available volunteer time slots. It is clear Snell is a civic leader in the Florence community, which is why two organizations recently recognized him with awards at their ceremonies. The South Carolina Association of School Resource Officers awarded him the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year Award this year in a surprise dinner that he thought he was attending to deliver a speech. Also this year, the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce awarded Snell as Small Business Person of the Year, recognizing his never-ending commitment to raising funds and awareness for local organizations and causes. “Warren’s commitment to Florence is boundless,” says Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce President Tom Marschel. “He is a real asset to Florence and demonstrates that rolling up your sleeves and getting involved is the way to make a difference. His philanthropic endeavors focus on church and law enforcement and especially noteworthy is the annual program which offers high school students a discounted meal in exchange for a pledge not to drink. “When the Special Olympics lost one of its major sponsors, he started Calabash and Cops. He also has provided major support to the Ameri-can Heart Association, Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, City of Florence Youth Camps, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” continues Marschel. Looking across Snell’s short nine-year history in the Pee Dee, you can see what a huge difference he has made in the lives of so many residents. Imagine what he will accomplish in the future. GPD BJ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 GREATER PEE DEE BUSINESS JOURNAL | 27

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