Rita's Italian Ice announced it raised $180,988 following the June conclusion of the company’s nationwide annual Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign and eighth annual partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer. A check presentation will take place July 31, 2013 with Hero Families and childhood cancer survivors, along with ALSF’s Jay and Liz Scott, accepting the donation from Rita’s executives.
The response was overwhelming during two weeks in June; over 600 Rita's outlets encouraged guests to enjoy Rita’s treats and purchase paper lemons for $1 each to raise money for the charity. Each Rita's Guest was able to personalize his/her lemon and then post it on the outlet’s "Wall of Hope" to demonstrate the local community's collective support.
Rita’s outlet in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, was the top contributor system-wide, raising an impressive $23,622. On June 30, they hosted their 8th annual head shaving event to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Community members attended the event to honor those children who have lost their battle with cancer.
“Our Guests’ show of support for Alex’s mission again this year was truly amazing—every Rita’s was covered in yellow paper lemons,” says Laura Lazar, senior vice president, marketing for Rita’s. “Several Rita’s franchisees held Celebrity Scoop Nights and invited childhood cancer survivors to scoop Italian Ice and raise additional funds for the charity.”
Since 2006, Rita’s has been a corporate partner of ALSF, implementing a paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for the foundation, especially research for new treatments and cures, which encourages and empowers others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer. In honor of the Foundation’s namesake, the late Alexandra “Alex” Scott, Rita’s renamed its Lemon Italian 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.
Over the past eight years, Rita’s has collectively raised more than $3.6 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming a leading corporate fundraising partner for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. 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.
“We are continuously amazed by the ongoing support Rita's Franchise Company has provided to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation over the past eight years, and we’re thrilled with Rita’s new Fund of Hope," says Jay Scott, Alex's father and co-executive director of ALSF. "We appreciate all the donations and thank Rita’s guests, franchisees, and communities they serve.”