DALLAS, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether enjoying a special chef feature, listening to the exclusive "The Wish List" CD or "liking" the brand on Facebook, guests of Maggiano's Little Italy ® took full advantage of the number of delicious giving opportunities designed to raise money for the ninth annual "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign. This year's campaign hosted by the Italian-American restaurant brand garnered $700,000 for the non-profit organization, enough money to grant at least two life-changing wishes per restaurant.
Since 2003, Maggiano's has been a proud sponsor of Make-A-Wish, leveraging the brand's made-from-scratch dishes and passion for giving back to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The culmination of this year's "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign marks an important milestone for the brand, as total contributions to Make-A-Wish reach $3 million, which helps grant wishes for more than 400 children.
"Like the server at Maggiano's in Denver, Colo., who raised $7,500 to grant one child's wish, our team members find creative ways each year to encourage frequent guests, as well as those dining with us for the first time, to get involved in the fundraiser," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy. "As we enjoy nine years of tradition and prepare to celebrate the 10 th anniversary of our Make-A-Wish sponsorship next year, we are determined to reach deeper into the communities we serve to share the power of eating a dish today to grant a wish tomorrow."
During the nine week fundraiser which ended on June 27, Maggiano's made a donation to Make-A-Wish every time a guest selected one of five seasonal dishes off the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu and ordered Lauren's Lemonade, a refreshing peach and pomegranate beverage named after a Make-A-Wish child. In addition to several other giving opportunities, guests could soothe their ears for a cause by purchasing the first-ever Maggiano's and Make-A-Wish album titled, "The Wish List," as well as "like" the brand on Facebook for a $1 contribution to the wish-granting organization.Throughout the campaign, each Maggiano's restaurant worked with their local Make-A-Wish chapter to host VIP parties to celebrate a child's wish coming true. Many restaurants also put together special events for the community to benefit Make-A-Wish, like the songwriter showcase at none other than Maggiano's in Nashville, Tenn., which featured up-and-coming musicians. "Make-A-Wish grants an increasing number of wishes because of generous donors and sponsors like Maggiano's. We are touched year after year at how the restaurants and their guests raise money to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions," said David A. Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and chief executive officer. "The 'Eat-A-Dish' campaign is a fundraiser Make-A-Wish children, families and staff members have come to look forward to each year, and we are excited to continue to build on this relationship as we head into our 10th year of the campaign." About Maggiano's Little ItalyMaggiano's Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano's menu features both classic and contemporary recipes – authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano's 45 locations worldwide offer lunch and dinner, delivery, carryout service and banquet spaces for special occasions. Maggiano's is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than one million guests daily. Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 32 countries and two territories. In addition to Maggiano's, Brinker owns and operates Chili's ® Grill & Bar and holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill ®. For more information, visit www.maggianos.com. About Make-A-Wish Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 212,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2011 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish ®. SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy
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