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The campaign, which initially includes counter-top coin canisters and the sale of paper "Miracle Balloons," kicked off a the convention and will continue through April of this year. Store owners are encouraged to conduct additional fund raising at other times of the year using a variety of ideas provided during by CMN.
"The 14 million children treated at [these] hospitals have found a new friend today," said Val Durrant, managing director of corporate development for Children's Miracle Network. "Auntie Ann [Beiler] has built an incredibly successful business on strong family values and by helping other people," he said of the company's founder and CEO. "It's true that a business can do well by doing good."
The decision to partner with Children's Miracle Network is consistent with the business practices of Auntie Anne's, which began as a way to help finance a family counseling service in 1988. More than 12 years and 600 Auntie Anne's outlets later, the company continues to fund many worthy charitable activities.
"I learned growing up the simple principle of being nice to each other—the golden rule of treating other people the way you would like to be treated—and I've continued to practice that principle in selling pretzels," said Beiler. "I think we're operating under a different set of rules in our business," she said. "It's not old-fashioned; it's not obsolete. It works today."
The total amount of funds raised by Auntie Anne's will be announced and the company will be recognized for its efforts on the June 3-4 broadcast of CMN Champions for Walt Disney World.