Charlie Rath Recognized for Service as a Founding Member of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Posted on January 27, 2022

Foundation committed to finding adoptive homes for our nation’s most vulnerable children waiting in foster care

Columbus, Ohio — The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is honored to recognize Charles W. (Charlie) Rath, a Bellefontaine native, for exceptional service in advocating for and supporting the Foundation’s commitment to finding forever families for children in foster care.

Pictured: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption founding board member Charlie Rath and Foundation President & CEO Rita Soronen.

Dave Thomas, the founder of The Wendy’s Company and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, passionately believed that every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family. Dave shared his vision with leaders at The Wendy’s Company, three of whom embraced the vision as their own and worked tirelessly to form a nonprofit public charity. Charlie Rath, who served as Wendy’s® Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in the early 1990s and was a close confidant of Dave’s, was one of those leaders who were instrumental in establishing the Foundation.

Charlie served as the first president of the Foundation’s board of trustees and led a team that developed the mission, infrastructure and critical network of fundraising that the organization would need to thrive.

Since its inception in 1992, the Foundation has created and grown national signature programs, such as Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, Adoption-Friendly Workplace™ , and National Adoption Day, as well as foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who serve children and youth in foster care who are most at risk of aging out of foster care without a family. A rigorous, five-year national evaluation revealed that a child referred to the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program is up to three times more likely to be adopted.

“We are deeply grateful to Charlie and the founding team who launched this critical work, as well as the entire board of trustees who have served selflessly since,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “Because of leaders like Charlie, tens of thousands of passionate people have joined Dave in helping to make the dream of a permanent, loving family a reality for children in foster care who are far too often overlooked.”

To date, the Foundation has found forever families for more than 11,000 children in foster care and counting.


About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 140,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit

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