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"The Restaurant Neighbor Award has been a tremendous success for the past decade and the spirit of philanthropy is alive and well in our industry," says NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. "We hope that restaurants across the U.S. will take the opportunity to share information on their innovative community programs for a chance to gain national recognition."
The NRA and founding partner American Express developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry's contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators and owners to make even greater contributions in their communities.
"American Express is proud to be partnering with the NRA to honor restaurants across the country for the invaluable contributions they have made in their communities," says Curtis Wilson, vice president and general manager, Restaurant Industry Group, American Express. "The impact restaurateurs have in their communities through charitable activities and relief projects is immeasurable. We are honored to work side by side with them and hope their commitment to community involvement inspires others to do the same."
Restaurants may apply on their own behalf, and employees, patrons, and other members of the community may work with a local restaurant to apply for the award. Winners will be chosen in each state by that state's restaurant and hospitality association. The state winners will be eligible for three national awards (small business, mid-size business, and national chain) and the Cornerstone Humanitarian award (for an individual).
The national winners will be presented their awards during the National Restaurant Association's Public Affairs Conference, to be held September 23-24, 2008. The national and state winners will be recognized in a booklet and on the National Restaurant Association Web site.