DALLAS, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chili's® Grill & Bar is known for making people feel special, and last month, guests and team members alike carried out the brand's passion by helping raise more than $5 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® during the ninth annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. A reflection of the generosity and support of guests and restaurant team members nationwide and in Puerto Rico, contributions from this year brings the campaign's total to more than $46 million, an arm's reach from the brand's $50 million, 10-year commitment. Once completed, it will be the largest donation from a single-partner campaign in St. Jude history.
The 2012 Create-A-Pepper campaign, which ran throughout September as part of National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, provided guests with a number of in-restaurant and digital fundraising opportunities designed to provide research and treatment for children suffering from cancer and other deadly childhood diseases. Campaign donations support the treatment of St. Jude patients like 11-year-old Amber, so they do not miss out on special moments in life. Amber was preparing to go on a family vacation when she learned she had Wilms tumor, a type of disease which spread to multiple areas in her abdomen and lungs. Thanks to the care provided by St. Jude, and support of campaigns like Create-A-Pepper, Amber is clear of the disease today and back taking care of her guests – the friends and family attending her elegant tea parties.
"Since 2003, the Create-A-Pepper campaign has brought Chili's team members and the communities we serve together under a common goal – to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so it can carry out the mission of finding cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases," said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "Whether you stepped inside our restaurants and designed a chili-pepper coloring sheet, donated online, or showed your support of our campaign in other ways, we thank you. The compassion for St. Jude fills our hearts and makes Chili's proud to be a part of this life-changing cause."
In addition to coloring the traditional chili-pepper sheet, guests contributed to the success of this year's campaign in-restaurant by purchasing and decorating Create-A-Pepper merchandise, such as T-shirts and Zipper Pulls. Guests also came out in droves to the brand's annual Donate Profits Day, the one day during the campaign where all participating Chili's restaurants donate 100 percent of net profits to the hospital.