DALLAS, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A passion for giving back combined with chef-created, made-from-scratch Italian-American food inspired the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish®" campaign. This annual fundraising campaign hosted by Maggiano's Little Italy® benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Maggiano's announced today the eighth annual campaign raised $750,000 to help grant the wishes of 100 children. The brand surpassed the stated goal to raise enough money to grant two wishes per restaurant, and to date, Maggiano's has raised $2.3 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"Each year, our guests and teammates continue to open their hearts and stomachs to our 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' campaign, and we are incredibly thankful for their dedication and generosity," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy and board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas. "Thanks to their generous support, we were able to double last year's funds raised, enabling us to give back to our communities who give us so much."
The campaign featured eight chef's special dishes – two pastas, four entrees and two desserts – as well as Leslie's Lemonade, a refreshing peach and pomegranate lemonade named after eight-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient, Leslie. When guests ordered any of these items from the special menu, Maggiano's made a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Throughout the campaign, teammates at restaurants nationwide also created fun and exciting ways to raise funds by hosting send-off or welcome home parties for deserving wish kids. Eighteen-year-old Cody and his family were treated to a VIP send-off party by teammates at Maggiano's Willowbend in Plano, Texas, before his wish trip to Tuscany.
"We are overwhelmed by the passion and support Maggiano's guests and teammates show during the 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' campaign," said David Williams, president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. "Our ability to align with Maggiano's for eight years now has enabled us to help enrich the lives of many children. Support from this year's campaign has moved Maggiano's into the top 10 national corporations supporting the Foundation."
About Maggiano's Little Italy
Maggiano'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 31 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 the Make-A-Wish Foundation
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 64 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 200,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.
SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy