We're suckers for a happy ending – especially when it involves cars, kids, and hot pizza. Recall, if you will, this past summer when John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza, was on a nationwide quest to find his beloved 1971 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – a car he sold in the mid-Eighties to fund his first store. John found his car in Kentucky, paid out more than a quarter of a million dollars in finder's fees, and then generously gave free pizzas from its 2,600 nationwide locations to all Camaro owners on August 26th.

Still feeling more than a bit elated with the return of his Z28, and intent on providing hope and inspiration to less fortunate children, Schnatter has now created a nifty little 1:64 scale diecast replica of his car. The metal cars sell for $4.99 apiece and each one comes with a coupon for a free medium cheese pizza ($1 from each car purchased will be donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation). In addition to selling the cars online, Papa John's is donating 5,000 mini Camaros directly to Toys for Tots. All told, Papa John's is contributing more than $155,000 to the Marine program and touching countless lives in the process. Go ahead and order a couple... we did. Full press release after the jump.

[Source: Papa John's]


PAPA JOHN'S TO DONATE $80,000 IN PROCEEDS OF MINI CAMARO SALES TO TOYS FOR TOTS

Pizza chain's contribution to annual holiday campaign also will include free pizza offer on back of mini-car packaging, all available at www.papajohns.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (November 16, 2009) – Earlier this year, "Papa" John Schnatter set out on a cross-country Road Trip to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Papa John's Pizza...and to search for the car that started it all: a 1971 Z28 Camaro that Schnatter sold to keep his dad's tavern in business and ultimately open his first Papa John's restaurant. He even offered a $250,000 reward for the car's safe return. To everyone's surprise (especially Schnatter's), the beloved Camaro was found in Flatwoods, Ky. in August.

Beginning today, pizza and car lovers alike may purchase a mini replica of Schnatter's Camaro for just $4.99 at www.papajohns.com. For every mini Camaro sold, $1 will be donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, just in time for the holidays. In addition, every toy's packaging includes a coupon for a free medium cheese pizza – making it the gift that keeps on giving, long after the holiday leftovers are gone!

Papa John's is also donating 5,000 mini Camaros directly to Toys for Tots – a retail value of $25,000, and $50,000 in redeemable free pizzas. In total, Papa John's will contribute more than $155,000 to the 2009 Toys for Tots campaign.

"You could say that Christmas came early this year for John, which is why we're especially pleased to share his joy with kids around the country who love Papa John's pizza," said Jude Thompson, Papa John's president and chief operating officer. "Papa John's is proud to partner and be associated with Toys for Tots, renowned for touching millions of young lives year after year."

"Papa John has a great story that's not only fun, but also provides hope and inspiration to less fortunate children," said Maj. Bill Grein, USMC (Ret), vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. "Toys for Tots is honored to have the support of Papa John's and their 2,600 restaurants across the country this season as we make the holidays brighter for families everywhere."

For more information and to purchase a mini Camaro, benefiting Toys for Tots, visit www.papajohns.com.

About Marine Toys for Tots

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to provide fundraising and other necessary support for their annual Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 62nd year, Toys for Tots provides hope and happiness to economically disadvantaged children through the gift of a shiny new toy during the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children recognition, confidence and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the gifts we provide, such as books, games and sports equipment, make a significant contribution to the educational, social and recreational interests of these children. In 2008, Marines distributed gifts to 7.6 million children in over 650 communities nationwide. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on individual donations from the American public and is supported by corporate sponsorships. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.

About Papa John's

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world's third largest pizza company. For nine of the last 10 years, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John's also ranks first among pizza companies in the 2008 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2008 Silver Award for Consumers' Choice in Chains in the pizza segment, and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com.