Industry News | June 5, 2013
Rita's Italian Ice Fights Childhood Cancer
Rita’s Italian Ice, the nation’s largest Italian Ice concept with over 625 outlets in 20 states, announced its annual Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign and eighth annual partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for all kids with cancer. Beginning June 5 and continuing through June 18, all Rita’s Ice outlets will encourage guests to donate $1 for a paper lemon to raise money for the charity. The lemons will be used to build a “Wall of Hope,” a visual tribute to the community’s participation in the fundraiser, at each Rita’s Ice location.
Since 2006, Rita’s has been a corporate partner of ALSF and implemented the paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research, one Lemon at a time. In honor of the Foundation’s namesake, the late Alexandra “Alex” Scott, Rita’s renamed its Lemon Ice flavor—“Alex’s Lemonade.” Lemon, one of Rita’s original flavor offerings when the company was established in 1984, is still one of the company’s most popular flavors.
Last year’s Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign generated more than three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in donations. Over the past seven years, Rita’s has collectively raised more than $3.5 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming one of the leading corporate fundraising partners for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our Rita’s franchisees and their treat team’s efforts in raising funds and awareness for children battling cancer,” says Jonathan Fornaci, president of Rita’s Italian Ice. “This year we hope our Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign raises even more money for the fight against childhood cancer.”
This year, Rita’s has established “Rita’s Fund of Hope”, which will ensure that the travel needs of families whose children are battling cancer are met. “Our new goal is to raise $1 million over the next 2 years,” Fornaci said.
“We are continuously amazed by the ongoing support Rita's Franchise Company has provided to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation over the past seven years, and we’re thrilled to introduce Rita’s new Fund of Hope," says Jay Scott, Alex's father and co-executive director of ALSF. "By enlisting the support of their Guests, Rita’s helps to continue our daughter's legacy and allows us to take strides toward fighting childhood cancer.”
Food & Beverage
QSR® magazine has always found space to report on the charitable works and deeds of members of the foodservice community. But recently it became important to us to step up our efforts, and the decision was made to consolidate these stories in one place so you, the reader, could easily learn about what the industry is doing when it comes to giving back.
Our hope is that these pages will inspire and motivate you to take up your own cause—whatever that might be—to make our world a better place.
Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's International, told readers in the very first issue of QSR magazine that "Profit is not a dirty word." But Thomas also worked tirelessly for the many charitable causes that touched his life. In so doing, he proved that running a successful business extends beyond the bottom line and that the real rewards in life are measured in a currency far greater than the dollar.
So let these stories inspire you to find your cause, if you haven't already done so. We encourage you to let us know what you're doing, so that others might follow your lead, pickup your cause, and contribute in ever more positive ways to our communities and lives.
Among the causes that QSR magazine supports is CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch for Children’s Cancer funds the lifesaving, collaborative research of the Children’s Oncology Group, the world's largest, cooperative pediatric cancer research organization. More than 5,000 physicians, nurses and other researchers, at more than 200 hospitals in North America, treat 90 percent of children with cancer. Funding efforts by CureSearch allows children with cancer to receive world-class treatment and care close to home.
Only research cures children’s cancer. The cure rates have risen from 10% forty years ago to a 78% overall cure rate today. Our goal is 100%.
Be part of the cure. Together, we can conquer children’s cancer.
The U.S. Congress has under consideration a bill that would provide $150 million for childhood cancer research. CureSearch offers an easy email template to write your federal representatives in support of this bill. It may be the most rewarding five minutes you spend today.