TREVOSE, Pa., July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Rita's Italian Ice, the nation's largest Italian Ice concept with 600+ outlets in 20 states, announced today it raised $180,988 following the June conclusion of the company's nationwide annual Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign and eighth annual partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer. A check presentation will take place July 31, 2013 with Hero Families and childhood cancer survivors, along with ALSF's Jay and Liz Scott, accepting the donation from Rita's executives.
The response was overwhelming during two weeks in June; over 600 Rita's outlets encouraged Guests to enjoy Rita's treats and purchase paper lemons for $1 each to raise money for the charity. Each Rita's Guest was able to personalize his/her lemon and then post it on the outlet's "Wall of Hope" to demonstrate the local community's collective support.
Rita's outlet in Boyertown, PA was the top contributor system-wide, raising an impressive $23,622. On June 30, they hosted their 8th annual head shaving event to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Community members attended the event to honor those children who have lost their battle with cancer.
"Our Guests' show of support for Alex's mission again this year was truly amazing--every Rita's was covered in yellow paper lemons," said Laura Lazar, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Rita's. "Several Rita's franchisees held Celebrity Scoop Nights and invited childhood cancer survivors to scoop Italian Ice and raise additional funds for the charity."
Since 2006, Rita's has been a corporate partner of ALSF, implementing a paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for the foundation, especially research for new treatments and cures, which encourages and empowers others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer. In honor of the Foundation's namesake, the late Alexandra "Alex" Scott, Rita's renamed its Lemon Italian Ice flavor—"Alex's Lemonade." Lemon, one of Rita's original flavor offerings when the company was established in 1984, is still one of the company's most popular flavors.
Over the past eight years, Rita's has collectively raised more than $3.6 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming a leading corporate fundraising partner for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. This year, Rita's has established "Rita's Fund of Hope", which will ensure that the travel needs of families whose children are battling cancer are met.
"We are continuously amazed by the ongoing support Rita's Franchise Company has provided to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation over the past eight years, and we're thrilled with Rita's new Fund of Hope," said Jay Scott, Alex's father and Co-Executive Director of ALSF. "We appreciate all the donations and thank Rita's Guests, Franchisees and communities they serve."
About Rita's Franchise Company
Rita's Franchise Company, founded in 1984 and headquartered in Trevose, PA, is the largest Italian Ice concept in the United States, currently operating in 20 states with over 600 outlets. Rita's presently has international outlets opening in China, India, ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Canada, and is continuing to grow nationally and internationally through franchise opportunities.
The popular chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, made fresh daily with real fruit, available in over sixty-five flavors, Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard, Milkshakes, Sundaes with Unlimited Toppings, Light Custard, Frozen Custard Cakes, Custard Cookie Sandwiches made with OREO®, layered Gelati as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini® creations. Since 1984, "Ice, Custard, Happiness," has been the brand's motto, and almost thirty years later, Rita's is still dedicated to serving up a big dose of happiness with their freshly made, delicious, custom treats, in a fun-filled atmosphere.
Rita's topped the Zagat Survey for the #1 Best Quick Refreshment, Ice Cream/Custard for 2012, and was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal's "Startup Journal" and named Top 100 on Entrepreneur Magazine's "Top 500 Franchise Rankings" in 2012. For more information about Rita's please call 1-800-677-7482 or visit www.ritasice.com or www.ownaritas.com
About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $60 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 300 research projects nationally.
SOURCE Rita's Italian Ice