2017 Restaurant Neighbor Award

State Winners

Alabama

Chef Will The Palate
Huntsville, AL
chefwill.yolasite.com

Chef Will The Palate works within the Huntsville City Schools pro bono to promote healthy eating, farm to table workshops, plant based cooking classes and tastings. He also volunteers with the local C.A.S.A. In addition, he works with the local elderly to teach them about healthy plant based food options and Diabetic Nutrition. Chef Will The Palate does this by working with the Local Housing Authorities to teach about reintroducing plant based food entrees and Alkaline Cellular Nutrition for cancer survivors. In addition, he works with Local organic farmers and Farmers markets to grow organic food locally.
 

Arizona

The Dhaba
Tempe, AZ
the-dhaba.com

The Dhaba has a stellar track record of giving back to its neighborhood in large measures. The Dhaba’s local outreach includes giving out 10 meal bags daily to the hungry and homeless, which amounts to about 3,600 meals annually and 20,000 since the program’s inception in 2008.  For the last four years the restaurant has been a supporter of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, and they also make donate water during the blazing Phoenix-area summers. During the winter months, The Dhaba India Plaza donates approximately $10,000 worth of warm clothing to the needy. The Dhaba reinforces the importance of their charity work within the culture of their restaurant as each restaurant associate volunteers on a weekly basis.
 

Wildflower Bread Company
Scottsdale, AZ
www.wildflowerbread.com

Wildflower Bread Company are long-time supporters of the community. Since 2003, the company has donated more than $4 million worth of bread to shelters every day. In addition, they have implemented the Dough on the Go™ program, which donates 10% of proceeds from every baguette sold to a local educational institution. The Wildflower Bread Company sponsors a school breakfast for the entire year for Loyola Academy for underprivileged students. Through this, they have served approximately 72,000 student breakfasts since 2011. The company also shows their commitment to helping underserved children by supporting No Kid Hungry, and has donated more than 807,000 meals to the campaign since 2010. To do so, they have created a program called “Wildflower Cares”, a two week giving campaign to raise funds and awareness about hunger. This effort amounts to the fourth largest contributor to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program.


California

California Pizza Kitchen
Nationwide
cpk.com

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) goes all out to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation.  One of its primary initiatives is Round It Up America, which encourages guests to round their checks up to the nearest dollar and donates that change to Make-A-Wish. To date, the project has raised more than $170,000. California Pizza Kitchen’s employees are also on board to help in the effort to make dreams come true. The 272-unit restaurant chain has also donated more than $3 million as a result of partnering with schools, community groups and first-responder organizations on CPK FUNdraisers.
 

Dos Coyotes Border Cafes
Davis, CA
doscoyotes.com 

Dos Coyotes Border Cafés has raised over $22,000 for their “Tacos for Charity” campaign, which supports farm-to-school and food literacy. They raised $3,500 alone at their Big Burrito Fundraiser, where they built a 25-foot burrito and sold sponsorships for $100 per foot. They are the inaugural sponsor of the local fireworks program and have been since 1999. The cafes also are sponsors of a local summer concerts, and have donated $10,000 to the Davis Joint Unified School District. The restaurants are also very committed to being eco-friendly. All of their locations are certified for sustainability, energy- and resource-efficiency by the Business Environmental Resource Council, and they are the first restaurant chain to achieve that distinction. Furthermore, their two Davis locations are certified green by the City of Davis.


Green Street Restaurant
Pasadena, CA
greenstreetrestaurant.com

Green Street Restaurant has been involved in the community since they opened their doors in 1979. Their community of Pasadena has more nonprofits in its borders (per capita) than any other city in the country after Washington, DC. They have donated dining certificates worth over $20,000 to over 600 organizations each year. They also make over 100 food donations to organizations worth approximately $15,000 each year.
 

Hawks
Granite Bay, CA

www.hawksrestaurant.com

Hawks restaurant has been serving the Sacramento community for the past 9 years. As true mom-and-pop restaurant, owners Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni give much of their time and resources to the community in which they live in. For the past 8 years, they have donated to the Sierra College Foundation’s annual event by providing food for the gala, as well as a “Culinary Experience” at Hawks restaurant. The auction items that they donated brought in $25,000.
 

Phil’s BBQ
San Diego, CA
www.philsbbq.net

Phil's BBQ has been supporting San Diego's local charities since it first opened its doors in 1998. Countless amounts of food donations, sponsorships, gift cards, silent auction donation baskets, live auction group catering certificates, and cash has been donated by Phil Pace, founder of Phil’s BBQ restaurant chain. Through Phil, over $1 million has been donated to charitable causes including: Rady Children's Hospital, the Salvation Army's Ray and Joan Kroc Center, the San Diego Humane Society, the San Diego Center for Children, Promises2Kids, the Boys & Girls Club and the San Diego Food Bank. Phil also supports the public educational sector which has faced steep budget cuts. His big focus is on underprivileged or gravely disabled children and animal welfare nonprofits.

This past year, Phil's BBQ hosted their 8th annual Phil's BIG BBQ at the Ballpark, benefiting the San Diego Chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters' “Operation Bigs”, a mentoring program for children with a deployed parent serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The event served over 2,500 people, with 100% of the proceeds going to Operation Bigs. The 2016 event raised more than $80,000 – making the total raised throughout the years over $500,000.


Specialty Restaurants Corporation
Anaheim, CA
www.specialtyrestaurants.com

As of 2016, Specialty Restaurants Corporation (SRC) has donated more than $250,000 to local charities, schools, and churches. This total includes donating $10,000 to help families from the San Bernardino tragedy and $20,000 to the American Heart Association. In terms of supporting schools, the corporation created a $50,000 endowment for scholarships at the University of North Dakota School of Aerospace. In addition, SRC has partnered with the Salvation Army for the past 35 years to host Christmas Breakfast. Through this partnership, SRC serves 2,200 guests annually and 77,000 meals have been served overall.

 
The Sardine Factory
Monterey, CA
sardinefactory.com

The Sardine Factory co-founders and owners Ted Balestreri and Bert Cutino support dozens of local charitable organizations in Monterey County. Some of their most focused philanthropic work involves being among the first and strongest advocates for Rancho Cielo, a comprehensive learning and social services center for underserved and disconnected youth in Monterey County. Over the years, the Sardine Factory has donated well over $250,000 to Rancho Cielo.

 
Tito’s Tacos
Culver City, CA
titostacos.com

Tito’s Tacos supports many local organizations in their community. These organizations include: The Arthritis Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness, Culver City Centennial Celebration, Culver City Homeless Count, the Culver City Unified School District, Didi Hirsh Mental Health Services, Los Angeles Police Officers, Toys for Tots, and the Veterans Administrations. During her 30 years of running Tito’s, the owner has also rallied to better the restaurant industry and is a supporter of the NRAEF ProStart program
 

Colorado

Marco’s
Colorado Springs, CO
marcospizza.net

Marco’s Colorado Springs is always there to help a family or an organization in need. With a full slate of philanthropic endeavors, Marco’s is immersed in the community that its four units serve. From feeding the hungry to organizing fundraisers for first responders and victims of a local wildfire, Marco’s and all of their employees are more than happy to get involved. Marco’s has helped a broad spectrum of individuals and causes including children and families with significant health problems and huge medical bills. Other organizations and causes Marco’s prioritizes include animal shelters, programs for troubled teens, schools, churches, synagogues, youth ballet, human trafficking prevention, foster agencies, veterans and water wells in Africa.
 

Connecticut

BG Dining dba Grants Restaurant/ Restaurant Bricco/ Bricco Trattoria
West Hartford, CT
billygrant.com

BG Dining restaurants have been involved with Share our Strength for over 20 years. For the past 10 years, they have been the co-chair for the Share our Strength Taste of the Nation event. BG Dining also hosts an annual Turkey Drive Out to support Foodshare. In addition, the restaurant group has set up a fundraiser for a staff member to raise money for her surviving children for their college funds.
 

District of Columbia

Pizzeria Paradiso
Washington, DC
eatyourpizza.com

Owner Ruth Gresser and her four restaurants- three Pizzeria Paradiso locations and Veloce- have had an indelible mark on Washington, D.C.’s restaurant scene since they first opened 25 years ago. Gresser and her restaurants participate in fundraising efforts for many local organizations. They partnered with DC Brau Brewery and Bread for the City where they donate a percentage of their of pizza sales. Through this effort, they raised $2,100 this year and $10,000 over the past five years. Pizzeria Paradiso also spearheaded a canned food holiday drive, where patrons trade a canned good for a can of beer. In 2016, they collected 750 cans to donate to those in need. On Pearl Harbor Day, the restaurant held a holiday party with the theme “Christmas in Hawaii,” where staff members donated their tips also to those in need. Furthermore, on Pi Day (3/14/15) they charged $3.14 per pizza and donated the difference to DC Central Kitchen.
 

Delaware

High 5 Hospitality, LLC dba Buffalo Wild Wings
Bear, DE
h5h.us

High 5 Hospitality, a six-unit Buffalo Wild Wings franchise group in Delaware, donates more than $135,000 to various nonprofit organizations annually. One of the group’s featured programs is a fundraising challenge for first responders. Firehouses in several towns compete to raise funds, and the winning department receives a trophy and its funds are matched by High 5 Hospitality. The company, which employs 550 people, also has a “Take Over Event Program,” where organizations hold fundraising events in the restaurants and 20 percent of sales are donated back to the organization. But High 5 doesn’t stop there – it also sponsors more than 40 sports teams and leagues. Other worthy causes supported by the franchise group are a High Five Golf Tournament, which benefits the Newark Senior Center, and a Buffalo Run 5k, where over $20,000 was raised to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Newark.
 

Florida

Alfie’s
Ormond Beach, FL
alfiesrestaurant.com

The owners of Alfie’s are very active in their community. They are always donating their restaurant to any nonprofit that wants to raise funds. They hold monthly fundraisers by donating 10% of all proceeds for a night to a charity, such as Lions Clubs, Knights of Columbus, AARP, and more. Also with the Lion’s Club, Alfie’s, hosts a Breakfast with Santa event every year for the children of the community. During this event, the owner of Alfie’s closes the restaurant and provides a prime rib buffet for the attendees. For their 30th anniversary, Alfie’s gave $3,000 in donations to the local Lions Club.  

 
Duffy’s Sports Grill
Lake Worth, FL
www.duffysmvp.com

In 2015, Duffy’s Sports Grill created a foundation to honor their founder after he passed away. Each month, the restaurant donates a percentage of their sales to the foundation. They also encourage customers to donate money in exchange for coupon books, in which a $5 donation gets $10 in coupons. The restaurant also has two online fundraisers and five annual volunteer days. In the foundation’s first year, $250,000 was raised.

 
Gecko’s Hospitality Group
Sarasota, FL
geckoshospitality.com

After 23 years of giving back, Gecko’s Grill & Pub is well entrenched in the community that surrounds its eight restaurants in the Sarasota area. Gecko’s supports a variety of causes and nonprofits especially those that assist hungry and at-risk children, law enforcement and the military. Gecko’s also partners with area schools, donating more than 20,000 award cards to encourage good grades, attendance and citizenship. In addition, they participate in Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the Unidos Now Future Leaders Academy, which helps the Hispanic population integrate into the community.

In support of the local law enforcement, Gecko’s owner, Michael Quillen, joined with other concerned community leaders to launch the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Charitable Foundation. Quillen and the rest of the board recognize that, despite the incalculable contribution law enforcement agents make to our quality of life, the economic protection they receive is often inadequate.
 

Johnny Huston’s Grille & Bar
Navarre Beach, FL
www.johnnyhustons.com

Johnny Huston’s Grille & Bar has numerous ties to its local community. They are involved with many events around the area. This includes hosting a pub crawl called “Crawl for Critters” where they donate the profits made to animal shelters. Johnny Huston’s is also involved with the Tee Up for Tanner Golf Tournament, which supports the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD). On top of that, the restaurant started their first annual Shrimp Boil to help raise more money for PPMD research and awareness. In addition to these efforts, Johnny Huston’s supports the local high school’s Quarterback Club, where they donate money to help buy equipment and help fund their season. As well as the football program, they are proud sponsors of all local athletics including softball, baseball, basketball, and cheerleading.


Neighborhood Restaurant Partners dba Applebee’s
Tampa, FL
www.nrpneighborhood.com

Neighborhood Restaurant Partners (NRP) works hard to give back to the community. Overall, they have raised $480,000, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. One of their fundraising efforts is the Every Day is a Game Changer Campaign, in which they sell paper footballs and give coupon books in return. 100% of proceeds from these sales go to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In addition, NRP’s locations have two major fundraising events: Flapjack Fundraisers, which has raised $219,000 for 714 events last year, and Dine-to-Donate, in which 10% of sales goes to the charity hosting their event that night.


Georgia

Fifth Group Restaurants
Atlanta, GA
fifthgroup.com

Fifth Group Restaurants use their new restaurant openings as opportunities to hold fundraisers for different charities. The restaurant group is especially committed to donating to local food banks, including the Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Since 2009, they have had a partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and sponsor of the Hunger Walk, raising $80,000 for the Hunger Walk in 2016. They also encourage customers to donate and they have competitions among the restaurants. With this encouragement, Fifth Group Restaurants has contributed more than $80,000 in support of the Food Bank’s. Fifth Group Restaurants is also committed to being an eco-friendly company. More than eight years ago, they created a "zero-waste" business model.

 
Focus Brands dba Moe’s Southwest Grill
Atlanta, GA
www.focusbrands.com

 Focus Brands commits to the JDRF as their primary charity. In support of raising money for juvenile diabetes, Focus Brands supports the JDRF Walk for America. Also in support of JDRF, for six months, the company donated all sales from regular drinks. They have also given their customers the opportunity to round up their checks in order to donate to the organization. Last year, Focus Brands raised $100,000, contributing to the $850,000 total they have raised in the past five years.

 
Marlow’s Tavern and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management
Atlanta, GA
sterlingspoon.com

Marlow’s Tavern and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management have supported the Special Olympics for 18 years. They host sneak preview family events to raise money for the Special Olympics. At these events, instead of charging people, they ask for donations to charity instead. At the Special Olympics golf tournament, the restaurant group volunteers and serves all the food. In 2016, they raised $90,000 from the tournament alone. Overall, the restaurant group has raised more than $730,000. The restaurant group is also committed to supporting the cause to end hunger. They support Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, through which they have raised more than $52,000. In addition, they raised $7,875 for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
 

Norsan Restaurant Group 
Duluth, GA
www.norsan.net

Owner Norberto Sanchez is a firm believer that a restaurant should play an important role in any community. Led by Sanchez since its founding in 1987, Norsan Group Restaurants, has grown to three different concepts and 15 restaurants in the Atlanta and Charlotte, NC areas. The philosophy of everyone working at Norsan is said to be “give back and help the communities we are part of in any way we can.” Through their restaurants Pampas Steakhouse and Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano, the company helps numerous organizations including the Georgia Aquarium Conservation, schools and other nonprofit associations. The company’s Frontera Tex-Mex Grill often turns over a percentage of sales to the for over 20 different local organizations. The company also allows Angel Hearts, a local Georgia organization that supports cancer patients who are unemployed or without insurance, to use space in its restaurants to raise awareness and recruit volunteers.


Ray’s on the River
Atlanta, GA
www.raysrestaurants.com/raysontheriver/home


Ray’s on the River has partnered with the Fragile Kids Foundation for over 17 years. This organization provides necessary equipment for disabled children. In support of the organization, Ray’s hosts an annual Breakfast with Santa event for the organization’s clients. They support around 300 families. They also host the Strings on the River Concert series. Because of their efforts, Ray’s on the River was named Child Advocate of the Year.

 

Indiana

Plat 99 Mixology Bar
Indianapolis, IN
www.thealexander.com/dining/plat-99-mixology-lounge

Plat 99 Mixology Bar encourages their associates to utilize their creative and innovative thinking to implement a new signature service initiative for their guests and community. Through this mission, Plat 99 Mixology Bar created the #cocktailsforacause program.  Through this program, the profits from different cocktails go to different charities.

 
Public Greens/ Patachou, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN
patachouinc.com

Public Greens/ Patachou, Inc. are committed to their Patachou Foundation, which provides healthy meals to children impacted by homelessness and educates kids about health and nutrition. To date, they have raised more than $163,000. Each week the Foundation serves more than 400 meals prepared by staff volunteers reaching students from 5 different IPS schools, with more than 2,000 meals prepared over the summer.

 
Scotty’s Brewhouse
Indianapolis, IN
scottysbrewhouse.com

Scotty’s Brewhouse supports a variety of organizations as result of this commitment and donate a percentage of their sales promotions through the year to support different nonprofits. Annually, Scotty’s works with the Ronald McDonald House to serve 350 people and deliver an additional 100 meals to those in need. Since 2010, they have hosted the Annual Thanksgiving “Feast for the Less Fortunate” and are supporters of Day Springs homeless shelter. Scotty’s Brewhouse further helps children in need by supporting No Kid Hungry, in addition to holding a toy drive for Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital twice a year. The restaurant also partnered with Pepsi to support St Jude’s and sold promotion cards to raise money for them. As part of their mission, Scotty’s Brewhouse has also made a commitment to hire people with disabilities, as 10% of the workforce has a disability. In addition, one of their restaurants serves as training ground for the Erskine Green Training Institute for disabled men and women.
 

Kansas

Nick and Jake’s
Overland Park, KS
nickandjakes.com

Nick and Jake’s supports numerous charities and nonprofits. As part of their efforts, they donate 10% of their sales, which amounts to over $2,000 every year. In addition to this donation, the restaurant has raised a total of over $1.5 million in the past six years. They are also the creators of the For the Kids Foundation, which supports Children’s Mercy Hospitals (CMH), and hold an annual golf tournament to support projects that the hospital’s general operating funds are unable to fund such as new ambulances, iPads for long term beds, a Pet Therapy program, and more. The restaurant also is a founding partner in the “Shoot for the Cure” Dinner for Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, the restaurant provides ten $500 scholarships for high school kids that excel in “Community Service.”
 

Kentucky

Carr’s Steakhouse
Mayfield, KY
www.carrssteakhouse.com

Carr’s Steakhouse puts great effort into giving back to their community. One of the ways they like to give back is by providing meals to their two local high school football teams. This commitment began when the organizers of one school's local basketball tournament had a mix up with the meals for the visiting teams and Carr’s Steakhouse owner Daniel Carr and his wife ran to the restaurant, and with their kitchen whipped up a dinner for several basketball teams on the fly, averting disaster. They also further support one of those local high schools by hosting a benefit concert that raised $3,000 towards Mayfield High's Coach Mac Scholarship Fund. In addition, they co-hosted an auction with the Mayfield/GC Rotary that raised thousands for the Rotary's Scholarship Fund that awards scholarships to many of our communities deserving graduating seniors. Carr’s Steakhouse also hosted a benefit concert for a motorcycle-accident victim that raised $6,000 to help with her medical expenses and recovery.

 
Fazoli’s
Lexington, KY
www.fazolis.com

Fazoli's is deeply involved with Feed Our Children and has been since 2012. Over the past four years, events have been held in Lexington, Indianapolis, Dayton, St. Louis and Kansas City - all benefitting thousands of families. Fazoli's, with Feed our Children, is committed to creating a world where no child goes to bed hungry. Through Pasta with a Purpose, Fazoli's and Feed the Children have come together to raise funds to fight childhood hunger in America. When customers purchase a coupon book, the $1 cost of the book goes to Feed the Children through the Pasta with a Purpose campaign. Since its inception, Fazoli's has raised more than $230,760 and has given over 12 tons of food to Feed the Children.
 

Louisiana

Arnaud’s Restaurant
New Orleans, LA
www.arnaudsrestaurant.com

Arnaud’s Restaurant is committed to supporting the NOLA Police Department. In 2014, they launched the Teddy Bear Program as part of their NOLA Police Department support efforts. The Teddy Bear Program encourages guests to donate new teddy bears for NOPD officers to keep in their cars for children who have been traumatized due to tragedy or victimization. This helps the children the NOPD save cope with traumatic events. In the first year of the program, 250 bears were collected. This doubled to 500 bears in 2015, and doubled again in 2016 with 1,000 bears collected.
 

Dat Dog

New Orleans, LA
datdog.com

Dat Dog prides itself on being a restaurant that serves the communities in which it resides. They partner with many organizations within New Orleans that work to improve the lives of people and animals. These organizations include: Zeus’ Place, a local no-kill animal shelter; CASA, which provides trained community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in court; New Orleans Musician’s Clinic and Assistance Foundation, which provides comprehensive health care to the musicians that are an integral part of the culture of New Orleans; and Son of a Saint, an organization that provides mentorship to boys whose fathers have passed or are incarcerated.

 
Langlois
New Orleans, LA
www.langloisnola.com

As the flood waters rose in the 20 parish areas in and around Great Baton Rouge this past August, Chef Amy Sins of Langlois in New Orleans was activating her network using her cell phone and social media. No stranger to flood waters, Sins understood all too well what was in store for her fellow citizens, as she herself, just 11 years ago, experienced flooding following Hurricane Katrina. Within 36 hours of the massive flooding event, Sins had rallied enough volunteers, hot meals and supplies to launch a massive feed at Lamar Dixon EXPO Center. In just one day, they served 1,000 meals for flood victims.
 

Tusa Restaurant Group dba The Crazy Lobster Bar and Grill
New Orleans, LA
thecrazylobster.com

The Crazy Lobster hosts the Ozanam Inn Gala, Rollin on the River, every year.  The restaurant closes their riverside dining area and inside dining area along with using the lower wharf to host the annual gala. The gala is a major fundraiser for the Ozanam Inn.  The Ozanam Inn helps residents of NOLA with addiction, and has programs for them to get back into society with job training and placement.  They also help the homeless by providing beds, meals, health care assistance, and clothing. Annually, the Crazy Lobster raises between $50,000 and $60,000 for the organizations they support.

 

Maine

The Frog and Turtle Gastro Pub
Westbrook, ME
thefrogandturtle.com

The Frog and Turtle Gastro Pub’s owner, James Tranchemontagne, is an advocate for children and makes it a point to get involved with causes that improve their lives. He volunteers on many committees such as the Westbrook Kiwanis, the Westbrook Gorham Community Chamber, the Maine Market and Run for the Fallen. An avid supporter of My Place Teen Center, Tranchemontagne sponsors six kids per year. My Place Teen Center is a year-round, free, after-school program (five hours a day) for kids, ages 10-18. The Center specializes in youth most at risk including disabled, homeless, food insecure, cognitively-delayed, low-income, immigrant and refugee teens.

 
The Red Barn
Augusta, ME
theredbarnmaine.org

The Red Barn Restaurant has become pillars in their community for their charitable work for countless organizations.  They host fundraisers every Monday, raising a total of $2 million since 2009. The beneficiaries from these fundraisers include local schools, statewide food banks, veterans groups, animal welfare organizations and very often, individuals in crisis - often suffering a medical crisis with crushing medical bills. One these Mondays, the restaurant gives away food in exchange for customer donations. Furthermore, the restaurant established The Red Barn Cares Foundation whose mission is to promote community by philanthropic giving and fundraising for community members and organizations. The restaurant owner Laura knows firsthand the struggles of poverty, addiction, and more, and uses this experience as a motivation for giving back to the community.
 

Maryland

AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
Columbia, MD
aidabistro.com

AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar supports the Cancer Resource Center at Howard County Hospital through Blossom’s of Hope (BOH), a 501c3 charity. Each year, restaurants participate in a fundraiser called Pink Plates and AIDA is a founding restaurant. Restaurants raise funds, making cash donations based on menu item sales. They sponsor wine dinners, auctions & raffles. Restaurants have donated $94k, with their contribution of $31k. AIDA employees also participate by donating tips, hourly wages, and selling raffle tickets for prizes.

 
Blackwall Hitch
Annapolis, MD
theblackwallhitch.com

Blackwall Hitch supports many causes in their local community. Annually, they host the “Blackwall Bash,” and donate the proceeds to help local families in need with an annual delivery of Christmas dinner. The restaurant also partnered with Annapolis Police Department to host monthly free fun and food events for local kids in public housing. These events are designed to promote topics around personal safety, to educate the local children on these important topics. In addition to these efforts, Blackwall Hitch also supports the Bernie House, a local shelter for women and children who have fled from situations of domestic violence.

 
Glory Days Grill
Gaithersburg, MD
glorydaysgrill.com

Glory Days Grill is all-in when it comes to sponsoring local sports teams through its Team Sponsorship program. In its 21th year, the program is part of the company’s culture, and is alive and well throughout all the units. Through the program, they sponsor over 500 local sports teams annually. The program helps pick up the costs for fees, uniforms and registration costs. As a result of this program, along with the fundraising program, Dining for Dollars, donation requests and a variety of other initiatives, Glory Days Grill has donated more than $414,000 to the local communities in one year. Glory Days Grill managers are extremely committed not only to their staff but also to their guests and the extended family in our neighborhoods and communities. The restaurant was also awarded with the Smart CEO’s Circle of Excellence Award. Glory Days Grill has raised well over $530,000 over the past 10 years.
 

Massachusetts

Horseshoe Grille.com
North Reading, MA
www.horseshoegrille.com

Horseshoe Grill has supported the Jimmy Fund for over 61 years and has donated approximately $750,000. They have also helped build town owned tennis courts, basketball courts, Kidspot play area, little league field improvements, and high school football and baseball facilities improvements. Over the years, the Lee family has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local causes and has run many fundraisers. The Lee family received the 2015 Ken Coleman Award for their dedication to the fight against cancer. In addition, they raised $15,000 for the MRA Educational Fund in August at the Horseshoe Grille’s 90th Anniversary Party.

 
Ninety Nine Restaurants
Woburn, MA
www.99restaurants.com

Ninety Nine Restaurants is a proud partner of the Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and has been for the past 10 years. Since 2006, the restaurants have raised more than $3 million, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2016, Ninety Nine Restaurants received the Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Award and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute President’s Circle Award. The restaurant’s employees take the fundraising challenges very seriously and make the competitions fun between causes.

 
Russell Morin Catering and Events
Attleboro, MA
www.morins.com

Russell Morin Catering and Events created the fundraiser “Saving Lives is a Piece of Cake.” At this fundraiser, a portion of the sales from every dessert purchased is donated to Edesia, a nonprofit to support malnourished children around the world. The catering company also commits to donating $50 for every wedding cake sold and $25 for every ceremonial cake ordered to help the causes that they support.

 
The Smoke Shop
Cambridge, MA
www.thesmokeshopbbq.com

The Smoke Shop’s chef Andy Husbands is deeply rooted in the community and has been a large contributor to Share Our Strength, the nation's leading hunger relief organization, for over 20 years. He enjoys participating in Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters program where he teaches low income families about the importance of nutrition and cooking. He hosts an annual benefit for Share Our Strength and has raised $200,000 for the foundation throughout the past 20 years. Chef Andy also serves as an honorary chair member of Taste of the Nation Boston.

 

Michigan

Buddy’s Pizza 
Farmington Hills, MI
buddyspizza.com

Buddy's Pizza has had a 20-year partnership with Detroit Public Television, providing approximately $150,000 in food donations at a variety of DPTV events over the years. Most recently, Buddy's Pizza participated in a "Challenge Grant" daring viewers to pledge support during a charitable giving telethon on Friday, September 9, 2016.  During this telethon, every dollar donated was doubled, with Buddy's Pizza matching all donations called in from 5-11 p.m. that night. Buddy's Pizza employees from several locations and the Corporate Office donated their time to man the telephones during the telethon and collected over $15,000. Additionally, Buddy's Pizza created a pizza called the DPTV 56 Pizza, which was topped with 56 pepperoni slices and served with the Motor City Cheese Blend.  When patrons purchase this pizza through the end of the year, Buddy’s Pizza donates a portion of the proceeds to Detroit Public Television.
 

Minnesota

Bites Grill & Bar
Pine River, MN
bitesgrill.com

Bites Grill & Bar puts great effort into giving back to their local community. The owner of the restaurant serves on numerous boards and nonprofits. In addition, the owner and the restaurant have hosted many community events to benefit the local Lion’s club.
 

Culver’s
West Saint Paul, MN
www.culvers.com

Culver’s in Minnesota supports many organizations throughout their community. They support these organizations in a variety of ways, including hosting benefit nights at their restaurant where nonprofits can get a percentage of sales. They also have provided over 2,000 meals to benefit Mary’s Place and Sharing and Caring Hands. In addition to these efforts, Culver’s has created an employment program to train and hire developmentally delayed individuals. Furthermore, they have a partnership with Special Olympics Polar Plunge.

 
International Dairy Queen 
Minneapolis, MN
idq.com

For more than 30 years, Dairy Queen has teamed up with Miracle Network Hospitals to improve the lives of sick and injured children. “Over the years, donations have topped $110 million through the sales of in-store Miracle Balloon icons, and collecting spare change from DQ fans, hosting special fundraising and awareness events and Miracle Treat Day, where in one day the Dairy Queen system raises more than $5 million through the sales of the iconic Blizzard Treat,” says Adam Layne, cause marketing manager. The money supports the local children’s hospitals near the Dairy Queen locations so the impact is felt at the local level.
 

Morrissey Hospitality Companies, Inc.
St. Paul, MN
www.morrisseyhospitality.com

Morrissey Hospitality Companies is very committed to giving back to the community and their fundraising efforts. They have raised $33,000 annually, amounting to $400,000 overall, part of which is fundraised through their annual golf tournament. For the past 11 years, Morrissey Hospitality has also supported the Boys and Girls Club and continues to do so.

 
Red Cow
Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN
redcowmn.com


The Red Cow does a variety of work to give back to their local community. They have donated more than $26,000 to support The Sanneh Foundation, a youth development organization in St. Paul that runs soccer programs to inspire and motivate low income youth. They have also given a $10,000 grant for the local backpack program. In their restaurant, they donate $1 dollar from the sale of certain items to raise money for the organizations that they support.
 

Mississippi


Newk’s Eatery
Jackson, MS
newks.com

In 2014 Newk’s Eatery unveiled an ovarian cancer awareness campaign called “Newk’s Cares,” which has raised more than $500,000 since its inception. In addition, Newk’s raised $100,000 from 100 units in honor of their centennial location opening. “With one in 70 women in the United States diagnosed with ovarian cancer over the course of her lifetime, the disease has emerged as the deadliest gynecologic cancer with only 45 percent of diagnosed women surviving longer than five years,” says Alan Wright, chief marketing officer. “But Newk’s Cares is looking to change that statistic.” At the center of the Newk’s Cares campaign is the Ovarian Cycle Jackson – an annual stationary spinning cycle event held in partnership with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in Newk’s home base of Jackson. Through the spin event, which invites the community to pedal their way toward a cure, the company raised more than $120,000, a number that is expected to grow in subsequent years. Newk’s furthers their efforts by pledging that 10 cents from every water bottle sold year-round is donated to OCRF.
 

Missouri

Gamlin Restaurant Group
St. Louis, MO
gamlinrg.com

Co-Owners of the Gamlin Restaurant Group (GRG), brothers Derek and Lucas Gamlin, are lifelong St. Louisans committed to making a difference in their city. Since its founding in 2013, their Gamlin Gives Back program has contributed hundreds of volunteer hours and more than $150,000 in monetary and in-kind donations to St. Louis-based organizations. In 2016, GRG has donated nearly $5,000 in food, liquor, event tickets and gift certificates to local groups; in 2015, that number topped $8,500. GRG is an active participant in community and charitable events. Whether donating a food station for a charity golf tournament or providing a bar for a fundraising gala, the GRG team always enjoys the opportunity to mix and mingle with the community — all for a good cause.
 

Jimm’s Steakhouse and Pub
Springfield, MO
jimmssteakhouseandpub.com/

Jimm's is very involved in the Springfield community on many levels.  During Mother's Day week they work with Women In Need and invite about 10 women who cannot afford to celebrate the holiday with their children and mothers to have dinner on paid for by the restaurant.  They get anything from appetizers, entrees and desserts to extras at no cost.  Another dinner is they host is the Feed the Less Fortunate Dinner, where they cater a Prime Rib dinner for 300 to 400 guests. Another cause Jimm’s supports is March of Dimes. They participate in the March of Dimes Chefs Auction and provide over $2,500 of food. In addition to participating in these events, Jimm’s donates cash and products worth $1,500 annually to 100 Fold, an organization that provides temporary help to families in need to get back on their feet. 
 

Nebraska

daVinci’s
Lincoln, NE
davincis.com

The Knudson family, owners of daVinci’s, has a strong commitment to families and the Lincoln community. Because of this, they chose Easter to be a day to give thanks by hosting a free Easter Dinner to the low income and the lonely, or anyone who wants to join. This traditional started in 1984 and has fed 750 to 1,000 annually since then, totally 34,000 people over the past 34 years. The daVinci’s team also opened the Champions Fun Center in 1995 to provide a safe and fun family environment with free food and activities. This center serves about 100 to 350 kids each year. daVinci’s also helps local children by donating kid’s meals to area churches for “Trunk or Treat” events during the Halloween season.

 
Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs
Lincoln, NE
goodcentssubs.com

Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs gives back to their community through the many programs that they have throughout the year. A highlight program of theirs is the Dine to Donate program, where they donate 10-20% of their sales to local high schools, sports teams and booster clubs. They also have their annual Pumpkin Run, where they donate 2,000 free kid’s meals to young runners through the Nebraska Sports Council.  Another highlight program Goodcents has is their Community Cards program, which provides free gift cards to schools and sports teams to help them raise money for themselves by selling the gift cards in the community.
 

LaCasa Pizzaria
Omaha, NE
lacassapizzaria.net

LaCasa Pizzaria has been actively involved in United Way of Midlands since 1995, and the restaurant’s employees have donated more than $40,000 to date. The restaurant and its 60 employees are also involved in Heartland’s Annual Dine Out Against Hunger, which supports Food Bank of the Heartland. Active since 2005, LaCasa has donated more than $2,800 to the cause. Since 2007, LaCasa has donated more than $3,000 in gift certificates to various local high schools to use at fundraisers. LaCasa has also supported the Nebraska Aids Project since 2007 with donations totaling more than $3,000 to date. Another organization near and dear to the heart of LaCasa and its employees is Habitat for Humanity. Not only has the restaurant donated food totaling $2,885 since 2008, but also LaCasa’s employees have logged more than 80 hours of labor assisting on various projects.

 
Salt 88
Omaha, NE
salt88.com

Salt 88 tries to focus on the everyday needs of their community by being involved in as many projects as possible.  While maintaining a personal level of interest in all their partnerships, they also participate in larger scale charitable events all over the Omaha metro area. Personal interest from their staff led Salt 88 to donating a monthly batch of art supplies to The Autism Center of Nebraska.  The restaurant also participates as the head chef for several March of Dimes events.  Local organizations like Project Pink’d allow us to participate on a local level for breast cancer survivors, as well as nationally helping organizations like Susan G. Komen.

 
Southern Hospitality Ventures, Inc
Lincoln, NE

When they first opened our doors in July of 2006, Southern Hospitality Ventures (SHV) owners Justin and Jennifer Jones made it their goal to be not just another restaurant in the community, but to be the community’s restaurant. Since opening their first restaurant, SHV has given over $1.25 million to their restaurant’s communities and on average, help 3.3 events per day, ranging from in-store fundraisers to cash donations.
 

New Hampshire

The Barley House
Concord, NH
www.thebarleyhouse.com

Starting over 10 years ago, The Barley House owner Brian Shea, created "Burgerfest" to generate donations to CHAD (Children's' Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center), which provides support for children with newborn medical issues, childhood diseases, and injuries. Since the fundraiser started, Shea and the Barley House team have raised more than $12,000 for this cause. In addition to supporting CHAD, the Barley House also sponsors Seacoast United Soccer Association.  This is a youth league that travels throughout the state and region to compete.  Shea and his family believe supporting this organization is a great opportunity to give back to the seacoast community and allow children who may be unable to afford participation the chance to pursue their dreams of being athletes.
 
 
The Common Man Family in New Hampshire
Ashland, NH
www.thecman.com

The employees of the Common Man Family have donated hundreds of hours to giving back to their community over the years. The restaurant is especially committed to providing support for substance abuse treatment, since New Hempshire ranked 49th in the country for substance abuse treatment programs. As part of this effort, the founder of the restaurant issued a 30-day $100,000 matching gift challenge to raise money for the Farnum Center for Addiction. They went well over this goal and ended up raising $285,000. As a result, the center was named the Ray House in his honor. The funds they raised added 20 more treatment beds for women, veterans and first responders battling addiction.
 

Jumpin Jays Fish Cafe 
Portsmouth, NH
www.jumpinjays.com

Jumpin Jays Fish Café is very active in their local community. The owner serves on several local boards including the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, The Music Hall and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Piscataqua Region.  The owner is also an active board member of Share Our Strength. In addition, the café created Restaurant Week for their town, Portsmouth. Furthermore, in 2009, the restaurant established the Jay McSharry Diversity Scholarship Fund at the University of New Hampshire.

 

Nevada

Crazy Pita Rotisserie & Grill
Henderson, NV
www.crazypita.com

Crazy Pita has deep roots in the Las Vegas nonprofit community and as such supports a wide variety of worthy causes. One of the primary recipients of the three-unit chain, owned by Mehdi Zarhloul, is the Josh Stevens Foundation, a nonprofit created in memory of local student Josh Stevens. The charity promotes kindness and anti-bullying efforts. “In an effort to support the charity’s core message and keep Josh’s memory alive, all three Crazy Pita restaurants feature a year round Josh Stevens Foundation display selling ‘Be Kind’ merchandise and donating 100 percent of the proceeds directly to the organization,” says Zarhloul.

 
Ferraro’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
Las Vegas, NV
www.ferraroslasvegas.com

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant does a variety of work to give back to the community. The restaurant offered a Mount Charleston Relief menu to benefit the American Red Cross, providing assistance for those evacuated due to the Carpenter 1 Fire in 2013. The restaurant also supported the American Red Cross by raising funds to donate to the Red Cross efforts in Haiti in 2010. Through this fundraiser, Ferraro’s donated a portion of an evening’s food and bar proceeds directly to the Red Cross.
 

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Las Vegas, NV
www.flemingssteakhouse.com

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is raising their glass to funding blood cancer research. Many of Fleming's guests and staff are actively involved in Luekimia and Lymphoma Society fundraising events in their communities. Fleming’s is especially proud to join their efforts by creating a cocktail called “Sweet Charity” and donating 100% of the sales from every cocktail to LLS during the month of October.
 

Navarro-Issel Organization dba McDonald’s
Las Vegas, NV

Patricia Navarro-Issel has been part of the McDonald’s family for nearly 30 years, beginning as a crew person and working her way up until she purchased multiple McDonald’s restaurants in 2008, applying her decades of hands-on work experience and training with the company to build thriving businesses. Navarro-Issel is frequently involved in opportunities to give back to the community. She and her restaurants actively supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities and their program Eggs for Education. She and her restaurants also host fundraisers, and raised more than $50,000 in 2016 for the RMHC scholarship program. The Navarro-Issel Organization’s McDonald’s are also dedicated supporters of the education system. They award $50,000 to Southern Nevada teachers, K-8, as part of the Make Activities Count Grant program. The restaurant organization also hosts the annual Hispanic Baccalaureate, which is a graduation event honoring Hispanic students in Nevada.

 

New Jersey

Doherty Enterprises
Rumson, NJ
www.dohertyinc.com

Doherty Enterprises is very devoted to giving back to the community. Since 2015, the company has sponsored more than 1,200 organizations. Doherty Enterprises and its employees have volunteered at 985 community activities and have raised more than $5.5 million in financial contributions, items and services over the years. Though the company supports many organizations, Doherty Enterprises has a special commitment to Toys for Tots. Since 1999, Doherty Enterprises has raised close to $4 Million for the campaign. To raise money for Toys for Tots, they hold an annual Breakfast with Santa fundraiser, in addition to hosting another special event for families in need. Each of their stores specializes its breakfast for Santa and all funds from ticket sales go to Toys for Tots. They also sell Toys for Tots Gift Tags to provides cash donations to the campaign, which they raised $280,000 from in 2015.

 
Rio Station
Rio Grande, NJ
riostation.com

The owner of Rio Station sits on the board for Cape Assist in Wildwood, NJ - a nonprofit drug, alcohol, smoking prevention and treatment facility. In support, Rio Station hosts fundraisers and donates catering to events held by the nonprofit  The owner of Rio Station also runs a therapeutic work environment to support staff who are now in recovery.  Each year, they offer free counseling services to their employees and has seen lives and families change as a result.
 
 
Salt Creek Grille
Rumson, NJ
www.saltcreekgrille.com

What began as an anniversary party 13 years ago at Salt Creek Grille has grown to the community’s biggest annual fundraising event with the restaurant providing nearly $1 million of gifts to local charities. The Salt Creek Grille hosts an annual Wine & Martini Tasting Fundraiser, in which $902,000 has been raised for 13 local charities serving children’s needs. The popularity of the event has soared and now raises over $100,000 in a single night. One of the charities Salt Creek Grille works with to help children is “Amanda’s Place.” This nonprofit is dedicated to ending sexual and domestic violence and has therapists work with children affected by domestic violence with art and music therapy. The Salt Creek Grille is locally recognized and appreciated for all that they do for their community.
 

WindMill Restaurants
Long Beach, NJ
www.windmillhotdogs.com

WindMill Restaurants dedicate their commitment to charity by focusing on the issue of hunger. The owner of the restaurants has been deeply involved in the local food bank. Every year, the restaurants host the “$10,000 Hot Dogs” festival to raise money for the food bank.

 

New Mexico

Pizza 9
Albuquerque, NM
www.pizzanine.com

Pizza 9 has given many in-kind donations. They have donated thousands of dollars in gift certificates to charity golf tournaments, silent auctions, military and police balls. In addition, the restaurant has Donation Days where they donate 25% of the profits they make that day to local causes. They also hold fundraisers for fallen officers in which they donate 100% of the profits raised at these events.

 

New York


Ben’s Kosher Restaurants
Bayside, NY
www.bensdeli.net

Ben’s Kosher Restaurant is committed to supporting local families who have members who are suffering from cancer. In 2015, the restaurant chain partnered with a local hospital to deliver meals to patients going through treatment. Through this effort, they wanted to take away the burden of cooking for families with a family members going through cancer.
 

Tasteful Connections
Rochester, NY
www.tastefulconnections.com

Tasteful Connections owners and staff recognize the importance of giving back. Most recently they have provided the venue, equipment and supplemented donated product to assist the local Kiwanis with preparing and delivering 1,000 Thanksgiving meals to people in their community who otherwise may go without.  They also support the Ronald McDonald House and Asbury First United Methodist Church Wellness Center the first Tuesday of every month with a hot meal of comfort food for their residents and clients. Also, throughout the year, Tasteful Connections contributes staffed food stations to enhance multiple fundraising efforts such as "Empty Bowls" sponsored by the Catholic Family Center, Foodlink's fall fundraiser "Festival of Food", and "Fine Tastings" an event to raise money for a center that supports children with disabilities.

 
North Carolina

Buku Global Street Food
Raleigh, NC
www.bukuraleigh.com

Buku Global Street Foods helped create the “Place at the Table” nonprofit, which is a pay-what-you-can café in downtown Raleigh. The chefs and owners of Buku provided the food for this pop-up café and hosted a major fundraiser at the location. They also hosted a Holiday Sweater Party for A Place at the Table on Giving Tuesday. In addition to the pop-up café, Buku hosts a Mac-and-Cheese Throwdown to support the Hope Center foster home.
 

Dugan’s Pub
Pinehurst, NC
duganspub.net

Dugan’s Pub’s biggest and longest endeavor is the Back Pack Pals of Moore County.  For 12 years they have raised over 200,000 in donations and food for 1,125 kids at 21 area schools.  This year they raised over 17,500 at their annual charity golf tournament, followed by a dance contest raising even more food and donations. Dugan’s Pub has also donated over 9,000 pounds of food and water for flood relief efforts.  Their staff donates their own time, money and energy helping with whichever endeavor they are involved in.  Dugan’s Pub truly believes that they could not do what they have achieved without their staff, management and community support.
 

Eschelon Experiences
Raleigh, NC
eschelonexperiences.com

Eschelon Experiences, a Raleigh-based company with five restaurants, a private event space, and about 250 employees, is partnered with Raleigh City Farm, a high production urban farm and food hub created in 2011. “Since 2012, our friends at Eschelon Experiences have been supporting our mission in a number of ways,” says Lisa Grele Barrie, a Raleigh City Farm board of director. “Their fearless and engaging marketing director, Tara Zechini, leads groups of her associates in service days on the Farm that include a variety of farm-related tasks such as hauling mulch, painting sheds, preparing beds, pulling weeds and more.” Last year, Eschelon raised more than $9,000 in one month for the farm.
For the past six years, Eschelon has also supported Band Together, a group whose mission is to use live music as a platform for social change. “We partner with one nonprofit organization each year and raise funds and awareness with them through the live music events,” says Band Together’s executive director, Matt Strickland. “Eschelon is one of our very best partners,” he says, “We would not be nearly as successful without them.”
 
 
The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village
Ashville, NC
www.cantinabiltmore.com

After hearing that their local community was described as a food desert, the Cantina became committed to helping those who cannot access the food they need. In doing so, they focus on giving a majority of their donations to Manna, a local food bank that the Cantina has donated over $70,000 to. This donation has enabled 210,000 meals for their community. In addition to fighting hunger, the owner of the Cantina personally paid the mortgage and rent for staffers that have suffered serious illness or had to care for a loved one.
 

Ohio

Apple American Group dba Applebee’s
Independence, OH
www.appleamerican.com

The Apple American Group partners with Alex’s Lemonade Stand, along with 1,050 Applebee’s franchisees. This year alone, they have raised $1.2 million dollars with $7 million overall from golf outings, lemonade stands, carnivals, Dining to Donates, Flapjack Fundraisers, bake sales, raffles, car washes. One Apple American employee personally saved all of his tips and personally donated $500 to help benefit the cause. The $1.2 million raised will help fund 24,000 hours of pediatric cancer research projects to help find better treatments and cures. The restaurant group has also hosted a party for a child who was celebrating being cancer free, letting the group see their contributions to Alex’s Lemonade first-hand.
 

Max & Erma’s
Columbus, OH
www.maxandermas.com

Max and Erma pride themselves on being highly involved in the community for the 44 years that they have been in business. While each restaurant participates in local community projects throughout the year, they as a company are especially proud of the work they have done with the Boys & Girls Club over the last few years. The Boys & Girls Club, like Max & Erma's, is a community based organization that believes the efforts of their program should be locally focused. This past year their 26 locations raised a total of $65,976.26 and in 2015 they raised $69, 275.22 for the local Boys & Girls Club.
 

Wendy’s
Dublin, Ohio
www.wendys.com

Wendy’s was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas, one of the most successful and philanthropic American businessmen of all time.  Dave was adopted when he was six weeks old and faced numerous personal challenges during his early years.  With his childhood as inspiration, he made foster care adoption the signature cause of the Wendy’s Company and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) in 1992 with the goal of helping every child waiting in foster care find a permanent, loving home. In 2004, the DTFA pioneered their signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK):  a child-focused recruitment model that serves children who have been waiting the longest for an adoptive family.  To date, more than 5,500 children have found their forever home with the help of the DTFA and a WWK recruiter.

The Wendy’s Company and their franchise system raise funds for DTFA and WWK throughout the year.  Their most successful annual fundraiser is the Frosty Coupon Book sale.  In 2015, the Frosty Coupon Book Campaign raised $3.9 million and then another $1.7 million was raised by selling Frosty Key Tags.  The DTFA also prioritizes raising awareness about the 400,000 children waiting in foster care.  In 2016, Wendy’s launched a national cup promotion featuring stories of four different children who were matched with their forever families with the help of a WWK recruiter.  This cup campaign helped us celebrate the WWK recruiters who work endlessly to find forever homes for children in foster care while also raising awareness about the foster care system.
 

Oklahoma

SONIC Drive-In
Oklahoma City, OK
sonicdrivein.com

For years, SONIC Drive-In has been giving back to its local communities through Limeades for Learning. The marketing campaign is in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, and it provides essential funds for learning materials and innovative resources to public school teachers across America. In total, SONIC has donated more than $5 million, funding nearly 10,000 projects, supporting over 280,000 students. SONIC gives their guests the opportunity to vote for which public school teacher projects they want to see funded. In the past seven years, SONIC’s Limeades for Learning has funded more than 10,000 teacher projects, improving educational experiences for hundreds of thousands of teachers and students across the country. The continue their fundraising efforts, SONIC pledges to raise $15 million in five years and has created a social media campaign #ThanksTeach to promote the Limeades for Learning program.
 
Wayne’s Drive Inn
Lawton, OK
waynesdriveinn.com

Beginning in 2010, Wayne's Drive Inn launched its partnership with the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma and Comanche County Memorial Hospital to support the need for cancer research. Their participation in Spirit of Survival (SOS), one of Lawton's largest events, takes place the first weekend in every October. Wayne's Drive Inn provides volunteers, meals and cash donations in an effort to support people who have either fought cancer themselves or have a loved one they are supporting or remembering.  Over 4,000 people come to celebrate by running, walking or cheering on friends and family. Wayne's has donated over $69,000 to the community and SOS since 2010. An additional way they do this is by creating their own unique t-shirt each year to support cancer and donating the proceeds to support their local cancer center. The Cancer Center of Southwest Oklahoma would not be able to provide care to patients battling over 100 different kinds of cancer without the support of community leaders such as Wayne's Drive Inn.
 
 

Oregon

BAMBUZA Vietnam Kitchen
Portland, OR
bambuza.com

Bambuza believes that healthy food starts with a healthy community, and therefore making a positive impact in the communities they serve is one of their core values.  Last year their “Dine for Dollars” program raised over $20,000 that went towards supporting local elementary and high school's academic and extracurricular activities.  Through Bambuza's “Dinner with Friends” program, they help brighten the day of homeless men and women in downtown Portland by providing a hearty, hot cooked meal with care packages during the cold months and they serve between 50 to 100 people every time. Bambuza believes that our community extends to those abroad as well. Restaurant owner Daniel Nguyen and the Bambuza team are proud to be on the board of directors and partner with Water4Africa to provide access to life-changing clean water for villages in Zambia.

 
Papas Pizza
Eugene, OR
www.papaspizza.net

Papas Pizza has served the local community since 1971 through fundraising and generous donations to local schools, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses. At each location they do an average of five to eight fundraisers a week. Fundraisers usually consist of helping local families and individuals in need of medical help. They also have many fundraisers for local school’s programs. During each fundraiser, they give 50% of what the customer spends to support local school programs. Papas does very little advertisement but the community involvement and support they see is still amazing as they have become family with their local people.

 
Salt & Straw Ice Cream
Portland, OR
saltandstraw.com

Salt & Straw Ice Cream supports a variety of local organizations in their community, including Basic Rights Oregon and Share Our Strength. Salt & Straw supports these organizations through donation days. The ice cream shop also teams up annually with U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer to create Congressman Blumenauer's Fruitcake flavor ice cream and then donates the proceeds from its sales to the Community Cycling Center.
 
 
Standing Stone Brewing Co.
Ashland, OR
www.standingstonebrewing.com

The Standing Stone believes that when their community is thriving, they are thriving, which is why they are committed to being active members who help those in need by making their mark on their town and on this planet. They have raised and donated over $10,000 to multiple local nonprofits through their “Pints for a Purpose” program. In this program, they raise money by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of their specialty beers. This past September, Standing Stone hosted “Harvest Dinner on Oak Street,” a fundraiser specifically benefiting Rogue Valley Farm to School and raised over $6,000 from this dinner. Standing Stone is also devotes some of their charitable efforts to being eco-friendly. Their RPM Bike Commuting Program promotes health and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by offering free, new bikes to employees who agree to commute on bike.
 

Pennsylvania

Flinchy’s Restaurant
Camp Hill, PA
www.flinchys.com

In Central Pennsylvania they have their own dynamic duo of fundraising: Dawson and Matthew Flinchbaugh. They are both heroes to the community, and over thirty years the tradition of community support which started with Dawson has developed and grown with his son, Matt. This year was the highlight of their funding raising efforts with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Central Pennsylvania.  Matt, with the assistance of Dawson, raised $304,000 for LLS. Their events held in local bars and restaurants helped pull the restaurant community together as Matt would dedicate his time and tips in bar-tending.  There were actual competitions as to what bar could raise the most money! All this was coordinated by Dawson – going out and getting sponsors for his table tops, having silent auctions, and other community events to raise the money.
 
Irish Pub
Philadelphia, PA
www.irishpubphilly.com

The Irish Pub has a nonprofit organization that supports local children's charities including supporting families of fallen first responders and military. Along with several other annual fundraising events, the Irish Pub for past seven years has organized and hosted the “Gathering of Heroes”, which is a guest bartending event featuring Medal of Honor Recipients. This event in particular raises money for the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides scholarships for children of fallen United States Marines and Federal Law Enforcement Officers (MC-LEF). Irish Pub staff members, from managers to servers and bartenders, volunteer their time for this event. The theme for this year’s Gathering of Heroes was the Vietnam War to honor the ongoing sacrifices of the veterans of that war. Since its inception, the Gathering of Heroes has raised over $300,000 for MC-LEF.

 
Punxsy Pizza
Punxsutawney, PA
www.punxsypizza.com

Punxsy Pizza and owner Scott Anthony support their small town of 5,800 in many ways. Anthony helps with fundraisers for many community events every year, from fundraisers for the Boy Scouts, School groups, the local community pool, our community center. Scott created the event “Pizza and Prevention” to support the Punxsy Fire Department. This event just had its 15th anniversary on October 1, 2016 and raised over $40,000 in a single day.

 
The Rose Group dba Applebee’s
Newtown, PA
www.therosegroup.com

The Rose Group works hard to identify and support local organizations and nonprofits through a number of creative avenues. Some initiatives include Flapjack Fundraisers, in which they have raised over $843,000, and Dine to Donate events, which has raised over $15,000. The Rose Group also has had a partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) dating back to 2005, and has raised over $3 million since the partnership began. The partnership with ALSF was initiated by the Rose Group and grew to include over 1,000 Applebee’s locations nationwide as an Applebee's corporate initiative. Some of their fundraising efforts for ALSF include selling paper lemons to customers and giving them a coupon book in exchange for a donation.
 


Rhode Island

George’s of Galilee
Narragansett, RI
georgesofgalilee.com

George’s of Galilee supports a variety of local organizations. To show their support, George’s of Galilee has donated over $10,000 in gift cards to these local organizations and school. Also in support of education, the restaurant created a scholarship fund, the Richard F. Durfee Fund. Through this fund, George’s has raised over $200,000 for students. Another avenue in which George’s of Galilee supports their local community is by hosting a “Polar Plunge” to benefit the Special Olympics of Rhode Island.

 
The Lodge Pub & Eatery
Lincoln, RI
www.thelodgepub.com

Giving back to the community is extremely important to owner David Lahousse, whose charitable activities support many organizations including: Stadium Theatre, Milk Fund, Autumn Fest, St. Joseph Cup Board, Because He Lives soup kitchen, Ronald McDonald House, and countless local area sports and fundraising activities. Engagement in the community is one of David’s leading qualities and it is also one of the reasons why he was named the RI Hospitality Association’s 2016 Restaurateur of the Year. Aside from David’s personal volunteer time, his two restaurants have never turned away a gift certificate request to support a local fundraiser.  In fact, in 2016 alone they recorded over $15,000 in gift certificate donations. Additionally, the restaurant has donated nearly $45,000 in cash and food donations to over 15 local community charities.

 

South Carolina

Blue Marlin
Columbia, SC
www.bluemarlincolumbia.com

The Blue Marlin is described as the true definition of a good neighbor. They dedicate the vast majority of their chartable efforts to helping World War II veterans. In 2008, the restaurant’s owner, Bill Dukes, founded Honor Flight South Carolina, which sends veterans on an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to visit the WWII memorial and other memorials built to honor their service and sacrifice. Since 2008, Honor Flight has sent more than 2,000 WWII veterans on 21 flights. During these flights the veterans fly on a private plane, are greeted with water cannon salute and cheering supporters. The flights cost $60,000 and Dukes has raised more than $1.2 Million to keep his organization doing the important work that they do.
 

South Dakota

Dairy Queen
Madison, SD
www.dairyqueen.com

Dairy Queen’s uses their infamous blizzards as the anchor of their signature annual fundraising event. Starting 11 years ago, on Miracle Treat Blizzard Day, Dairy Queen sells blizzards to raise funds for the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. In just one day, this Dairy Queen has sold 40,000 blizzards day in a town with a population under 7,000. Because of their efforts, they have officially sold more Blizzards in a day than any other Dairy Queen in North America. The fundraising event engages the entire community through this program and even has volunteers deliver blizzards to other communities to raise even more money for the important cause.
 

Tennessee

A. Marshall Family Foods (Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurants)
Franklin, TN
amarshallfamilyfoods.com

A. Marshall Family Foods is an active partner with numerous local organizations. Their restaurants participate in multiple fundraisers throughout the year.  The group created a fundraiser for the Nashville Rescue Mission called Mission H2O. During August, the most dangerous month for the homeless community due to extreme heat, diners donate water bottles to the Rescue Mission, and over 25,000 water bottles have been donated through this program. In addition to this effort, A. Marshall Family Foods has raised $40,000 for CASA.


Flying Squirrel Bar
Chattanooga, TN
www.flyingsquirrelbar.com

The Fly Squirrel includes giving back to their community and making the world a better place in  their core values. Since 2013, the restaurant hosted 164 donation nights with 119 different nonprofit partners. These fundraising events raised a total of $84,469 in donations. A specific organization that the Flying Squirrel Bar staff works with is the Therapeutic Recreation's Adaptive Climbing, to support disabled children. They have also worked with Habitat for Humanity to help paint houses in their city.
 

Huey’s Restaurants
Memphis, TN
hueyburger.com

It’s a tradition at Huey’s Restaurants every year to guess how many toothpicks are up in the ceiling, but it’ll cost you $1 to participate. The money raised is donated to the Memphis Zoo and the Palmer House. “Last year, we donated approximately $12,697 from our frill pick contest, and overall we have donated around $81,000,” says Shannon Little, marketing and events coordinator. Huey’s has a long tradition of working with the Memphis Zoo, as the company’s founder, Thomas Boggs, was the president of the Memphis Zoological Society for several years. Huey’s generosity doesn’t end with the frill pick contest. Throughout the year the company raises funds for Shelby Farms Park Conservancy; local schools; the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl Football Classic, which provides game tickets to St. Jude patients and their families; local Boy Scouts; Susan G. Komen; Memphis Firefighters Association; Overton Park Conservancy, and a myriad of other causes. Huey’s also provides an annual Huey’s Corporation Scholarship, which is a $30,000 permanent endowment fund within the University of Memphis. In total, the company has raised more than $108,000 over the last five years for organizations in the Memphis area.
 

Texas

The Backyard Grill
Houston, TX
www.thebackyardgrill.com

The Backyard Grill is involved with several charitable organizations, but Cy-Hope is an organization that they mainly devote their time, talent and treasure to. Each year they host the BYG BASH Golf Tourney and all proceeds go to Cy-Hope. Over the past five years they have donated more than $60,000 from this event. Their staff also participates in a backpack program which delivers food to economically disadvantaged children each week. They are also a main sponsor of another golf tournament, the Cy-Hope Larry Dierker Celebrity Golf Tournament.
 

Blue Baker
College Station, TX
www.bluebaker.com

As a small family owned business, Blue Baker plays an active role in each community they serve. Since they first opened in 2001, Blue Baker has donated over $291,843 to various charitable organizations. They demonstrate this commitment with weekly bakery tours, monthly cookie sales and sales sharing nights with local organizations, and an annual partnership with the Christmas Angels program. The cookie sales event provides nonprofit groups an opportunity to educate guests about their cause while raising funds for their group. Blue Baker works with groups to design an iced cookie shape that conveys each group’s cause, sells these cookies for one-week, and then donates all profits from the iced cookies sold during the group’s designated week.
 

Café Momentum
Dallas, TX
cafemomentum.org

Café Momentum is a restaurant training platform that provides post-release paid internships for juvenile offenders. Through the program, the juvenile offenders receive intensive culinary, job, and life skills training as well as continued mentoring and support to foster successful reentry into the community. In addition to significantly reducing recidivism, this program creates opportunities for long-term, sustainable employment for a demographic that would otherwise continue to burden the justice system and taxpayers. Upon completion of the program, they assist with job placement for graduates. Their case management team continues to offer services post-graduation, and they will track each graduate's progress as they continue in their careers.

 
San Angelo Restaurant Association
San Angelo, TX

For more than 30 years, the San Angelo Restaurant Association (SARA) has been the heartbeat for the Spring Chicken Affair, a community event benefitting West Texas Rehabilitation Center (WTRC) in San Angelo, Texas. SARA’s mission is to serve as a resource for local restaurateurs and to work for the betterment of the tight knit San Angelo community. Each year in April, the Spring Chicken Affair serves more than 4,000 fried chicken plates to the community in just three hours! For the last 34 years, SARA has been the sole provider of green beans, condiments, and other food needs for the event, as well as many of the event day volunteers. Since 2009, more than $372,353 has been raised through the event for WTRC. Not only do SARA restaurants provide food needs and volunteers, they also serve as ticket sales locations prior to the event, assisting with publicity and community information on the benefits and services provided to the community through WTRC. WTRC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing outpatient physical rehabilitation care to more than 500 patients per day, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Money raised by the event directly benefits WTRC patients, paying for therapy services provided to under or un-funded patients.
 

Whataburger
San Antonio, TX
whataburger.com

Whataburger focuses their fundraising efforts on children’s charities, with an emphasis on education, disabilities, abuse prevention, cancer research, hunger assistance, and disaster relief and military support. In 2015, they supported nearly 400 organizations across 10 states with event sponsorships, meals, bottled water, and monetary support. With the help of their fundraising efforts, Whataburger made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help Texas flood victims, in addition to feeding first responders during the tragedy. Through their fundraising, Whataburger has also donated $15,000 to help provide supplies to teachers through Feed the Children, donated $55,000 (100% of sales) to the Salvation Army, and donated $40,000 to the San Antonio Food Bank. Part of Whataburger’s fundraising efforts also includes their annual Winter Wonderland party at their corporate offices for children of St. Peter-St Joseph Children’s Home, where 200 children attend annually. In addition, during Hunger Action Month in September, customers can donate $1 to the Houston Food Bank at any Whataburger location across Houston to receive a coupon for a free Whataburger.
 

Utah

Even Stevens
Salt Lake City, UT
evenstevens.com

Every time a customer buys a sandwich from Even Stevens, they donate one to a local nonprofit partner. On average, they donate 10,000 sandwiches per store, per month. They donate these sandwiches by sending each nonprofit a monthly budget to spend on sandwich-making ingredients such as lunch meat, cheeses, fresh vegetables, tuna fish, peanut butter, eggs, etc. By using this model, the nonprofits place their own orders of the ingredients they need and want for their clientele. This helps guarantee the nonprofit partners get the products they need. With currently 8 stores in operation, Even Stevens is now boasting 32 partners in their give-back program with over 778,267 sandwiches donated. Their partners include organizations that help the homeless, in addition to working with organizations who aid seniors, domestic violence and rape victims, Boys & Girls clubs, AIDS patients, food pantries, and large food banks, those seeking helping from addiction, refugees, low-income families and more.
 

Washington

Hop Jacks “A Neighborhood Gathering Place”
Auburn, WA
hopjacks.net

Hop Jack’s established the Hop Jack's Good Neighbor Fund to help neighbors and team members in need. The fund raised over $88,000 and donated the money to various cancer organizations including: the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to support breast cancer and prostate cancer patients; the American Heart Association; Relay for Life, supporting a vendors son in a car accident, a guests small child with brain cancer, and a variety of other local charities. Additionally, Hop Jack’s donates 25 cents from every Hop Jack's beer sold. In January 2017, Hop Jacks created a program called "Kids Feeding Kids” and through this program, 50 cents from every kid’s meal goes to support local school meal programs. Hop Jack’s also hires people with disabilities through Trillium, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment.

 
Mill Creek Pub
Battle Ground, WA
millcreekpub.com

The Mill Creek Pub is well known in Clark County, Washington for its community involvement. Owner Russell Brent (Washington State Cornerstone Humanitarian, 2014) is involved in helping many nonprofit agencies.  Among them is the School of Piano Technology for the Blind, the only school in the U.S. teaching blind and visually impaired people how to tune and repair pianos. One of his fundraisers raised $1,000 for the school. Russell also hosted an event in September 2016 called Dunkin’ for Dollars for the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, where for 10 dollars, anyone could purchase the opportunity to drop various community notables into a dunk tank. The proceeds from this event went to over 100 nonprofits. Mill Creek Pub continues to be involved in its community by holding fundraisers, promoting events for nonprofits, and donating time and money. Starting in November 2015, the Mill Creek Pub began hosting meals for dementia patients and their caregivers. The staff received basic training in serving people whose short-term memory and physical abilities may range from faltering to gone, and whose emotions may veer from perfectly content to unaccountably upset. In addition, since 2013, Russell has raised $261,000 overall to fund afterschool programs for the teens in his community.

 
MOD Pizza
Bellevue, WA
modpizza.com

MOD Pizza is a culture-based company that is "more about the people than the pizza" and focuses on paying living wages and providing employees with opportunities to give back to the community.  On each store’s opening day, the store gives 100 percent of its first-day sales to a local nonprofit, selected by employees at that location. For example, at the Overlake store’s grand opening in July, the MOD Squad donated $3,512 to Jubilee Reach to help with the Highland STEAM program. The Redmond Ridge location donated $5,324 to the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center to provide equine-assisted therapy to disabled children and adults. For the grand opening of its first Eastern Washington outlet, MOD pizza donated 100% of all pizza sales to the YWCA of Yakima. In addition, each year at Thanksgiving, the MOD does a program called Spreading MODness in which they donate $1 from each pizza they sell across the country, donating $38,000 to community programs last year.
 

Wisconsin

Burger King
Eau Claire, WI
www.bk.com

Western Wisconsin’s Burger Kings created the Burger King Unmet Needs program. Through this program, these Burger Kings provide grants to Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to support military members and their families. They rallied other Burger King franchisees to support the program and raised over $3.8 million dollars from franchisees throughout the country. In addition, every November, customers receive coupons when they donate to VFW. Furthermore, they designated November “Military Family Month” with a goal of raising $30,000.

 
Cousins Subs
Menomonee Falls, WI
www.cousinssubs.com

Cousin Subs has donated more than $50,000 to local organizations over the last five years. Part of this donation included raising money for a local high school that had a fire and matching employee grants. Since 2013, they have awarded more than $41,000 in grants to nonprofits that have the greatest impact for those in need. They also created the Make It Better Foundation to support youth education, hunger, and health and wellness. Through this effort, Cousin Subs partnered with Milwaukee Bucks to launch Block Out Hunger, an annual anti-hunger campaign. Through this campaign, they collected 13,267 pounds of food and donated $10,000 for every basketball shot blocked. Cousin Subs also is committed to raising money for cancer through their Combos For A Cure campaign, which raises money for the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation (VLCF). During this campaign, the restaurant donated a portion of combo meals sold to VLCF and raised $50,000 goal in its first year. In addition to this effort, Cousin Subs has hosted the Wisconsin Sports Awards (WSA) Scholarship Contest for student athletes. They have given away $60,000 to 16 student-athletes over the past five years to help them reach their academic and athletic goals.

 
Saz’s State House
Milwaukee, WI
sazs.com

Saz’s State House has been giving back to many local community organizations since its doors were first opened in 1976. Annually, they host a Golf Outing and other events throughout the year, where proceeds benefit the Wisconsin State Fair Foundation and Variety - the Children’s Charity of Wisconsin. In 2015 alone, Saz’s Hospitality Group provided charitable contributions to over 400 local charitable groups, along with contributions to countless other causes, such as  Just One More Ministries, where 275,000 pounds of food is collected annually by the ministry to feed local families in need. With food being donated twice weekly by Saz’s, they have become their primary supplier. In 2008, when Hurricane Ike ravaged the community of Woodville, Texas, Saz’s immediately stepped in and set up living quarters for emergency crews and victims of the storm. Using their expertise in off-premise catering, Saz’s was also able to provide support and sustenance to many relief workers throughout the campaign. This year, Saz’s partnered with Sendik's to Sponsor Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping our nation’s veterans. Together, with a number of other local businesses, $222,000 was raised to send 160 U.S. Veterans to Washington, D.C. on an all-expense-paid trip for a day of honor and remembrance.
 

Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille
Fish Creek, WI
wildtomatopizza.com

Wild Tomato owners Britt and Sara Unkefer have always prioritized making a positive impact on the community through philanthropy. Since their opening in 2007, Britt and Sara have raised $20,000 through their monthly Donation Creation pizza event, in which $1 of every pizza sold goes to a deserving Door County nonprofit. During the summer of 2016, Wild Tomato hosted their most successful Donation Creation to-date, raising over $1,000 for two local fire departments.
 

Wisconsin Hospitality Group
Waukesha, WI
www.whgonline.com

In the last 15 years, the Wisconsin Hospitality Group (WHG) has donated more than $2.7 million to multiple worthy causes. Since 2000, the group has hosted an annual golf tournament to benefit Children’s Hospital, and has raised over $1.4 million through this event. Also to benefit Children’s Hospital, the Wisconsin Hospitality Group sells “apples for kids” paper hangs. In addition, the group has supported One Heartland summer camps for children with HIV/AIDS. To support the camp, the hospitality group sells heart icons at their Pizza Hut locations for $1 and has raised over $1 million for the camp in doing so. Furthermore, WHG provides free meals to all veterans and active duty military on Veteran’s Day. In 2015, they provided 18,594 meals and raised $4,000 for Honor flights.