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The Great Wall

I scream, you scream, we all scream for social responsibility.

His name is Fred Bradish--like "radish" but with a "B" in the front--but then, if you lived in Dallas, you'd probably know that already.

You'd also know that Bradish's Baskin-Robbins looks nothing like a typical Baskin-Robbins. "If you look at our wall, you'll see no space," says Bradish, 57, who is also a minister.

Bradish, who was recently named one of Entrepreneur's 1999 Socially Responsible Franchisees of the Year, distributes free ice-cream coupons to those students and employees at local schools who maintain a spotless attendance record. Each school makes a mascot poster to hang on Bradish's wall, with every honored child's name underneath.

That recognition really sticks with the kids, and with Bradish--one school even invited him to a breakfast to thank him for his support of the children. "All the kids came out to the auditorium and sang a song for me, and with their nickels and dimes, they had bought a plaque for my store," says Bradish, who gives out around 8,000 free cones every six to nine weeks. "It's that kind of thing that really makes you feel good. We gain more than we give, big time."

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Karen E. Spaeder is a freelance business writer in Southern California.

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This article was originally published in the October 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Great Wall.

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