Industry News | August 27, 2010

Applebee's Franchisee Raises $1 Million for Charity

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With the help of guests and employees, the Apple Gold Group, franchisee of Applebee’s restaurants in North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, announced it has helped raise more than $1 million for local charitable organizations over the last year. This amount is a result of its successful fundraising campaigns for The V Foundation for Cancer Research and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, as well as its flourishing Flapjack Fundraiser program and generous corporate donations.

“This accomplishment is nothing short of incredible. It is amazing to see the efforts from our dedicated employees and guests pay off in a tremendous way,” says Michael Olander, president and CEO of the Apple Gold Group. “The Apple Gold Group takes pride in donating money and supporting fundraising campaigns for our neighborhood charities and non-profit groups. Each year, we have managed to surpass our fundraising goals and we are excited to continue this tradition of assisting local charities in the community.”

One of the company’s major fundraising drives takes place in March during the Men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament and The V Foundation for Cancer Research’s “Show Your Spirit” Campaign. During the March Madness campaign, guests at any of the Applebee’s restaurants in North Carolina, owned by the Apple Gold Group, are able to purchase customized paper basketballs for $1 or more to help raise funds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. This year, the Apple Gold Group raised more than $175,000, which was $40,000 more than it had raised in 2009.

The Apple Gold Group restaurants in Arkansas and Oklahoma, along with restaurants located in Wake County, North Carolina, urged guests to “Go Pink” with two separate fundraising events benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Wake County campaign was held in conjunction with the NC Triangle Affiliate’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event, which raised nearly $9,000 in just one month. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, restaurants in Arkansas and Oklahoma held a paper ribbon fundraiser for the Central Oklahoma, Tulsa, and Arkansas Susan G. Komen Affiliates. The total amount donated was over $70,000, all raised in just 41 days.

Launched officially in October 2009, the Apple Gold Group’s Flapjack Fundraiser program has proven to be its most successful grassroots fundraising initiative in their franchise’s history. Local nonprofit organizations are invited to host a pancake and sausage breakfast for their guests as a way to raise money for their organization. Once the charity registers, each restaurant will supply the nonprofit with tickets to sell, marketing materials to help promote the event and complimentary kitchen staff for the morning of the event. Over the last 12 months, the Apple Gold Group Flapjack Fundraiser program has raised more than $751,893 for local charities, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations.

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