SAN DIEGO, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Smashing their campaign goal by raising twice as much as targeted, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes guests, team members, farmers and suppliers have raised $300,000 for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® battle to help kids beat cancer and other serious diseases.
Marking the first time the restaurants, owned by Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., and St. Jude partnered on a national giving campaign, the effort far exceeded initial goals thanks to the generous support of the restaurants' guests, stakeholders and parent company. All money raised will go directly toward the hospital to support the St. Jude mission: Finding Cures. Saving Children®.
Actor Patrick Warburton, the voice of the Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes "Discover Fresh" advertising campaign, introduced Garden Fresh to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by sharing his personal commitment to St. Jude's mission.
"I'm so proud of how our guests, restaurant teams and partners stepped up to support this heartfelt effort to help St. Jude in their critical effort to save kids lives," said John Morberg, CEO of Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., which added $35,000 to the campaign in addition to funds raised through the company's restaurants and supply partners. "This experience of helping St. Jude kids and our success really helps tell a story of who we are and how committed our people are."
Morberg made the remarks while presenting a check for the total amount raised at the sixth annual The Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament in Palm Desert, CA, an event benefiting St. Jude. The Warburton raised more than $1.7 million this year, bringing the six year total raised for St. Jude to more than $5 million. That is enough to pay for just over two days of operating expenses at the world-renowned hospital in Memphis.
"The enthusiasm of everyone at Garden Fresh for the St. Jude mission inspired so many to support our fight against childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Raising $300,000 during an inaugural campaign is a tremendous accomplishment, and we appreciate everyone at Garden Fresh who made that possible."
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting www.stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook (www.facebook.com/stjude) and following us on Twitter (@stjude).
About Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.
Each day begins fresh at 124 company-owned Garden Fresh restaurants in 15 states. More than 300 million guests since 1978 have helped us be number one in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, desserts, and more. Guests have the freedom to create their own wholesome meal in a one-of-a-kind dining experience in a friendly atmosphere and all at an everyday value. The company is headquartered in San Diego, CA, and has two brand names: Souplantation in Southern California, and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Souplantation) and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/souplantation) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/souplantation/).
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SOURCE Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.