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.”