#JoesGoesBlue In April

Joe's Crab Shack kicks off second annual national fundraiser for Autism Speaks

Mar 31, 2014, 08:05 ET from Joe's Crab Shack

HOUSTON, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 2, Joe's Crab Shack will join organizations across the globe in celebrating the international Light It Up Blue campaign on World Autism Awareness Day and kick off its second annual national fundraiser for Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization.

As one of Autism Speaks' largest corporate partners, Joe's raised more than $1 million in 2013 through in-restaurant donations, online donations and sales of Joe's "Light It Up Blue" tie-dye T-shirts.

"Joe's raving fans showed overwhelming support of this important cause last year," said Joe's Crab Shack President Jim Mazany. "The success of last year's inaugural campaign fills us with hope that Joe's, together with our employees and guests, can be a piece in solving the autism puzzle."

Throughout April, guests can donate to the cause and, in return, receive coupons for free food. Offers include: $1 donation for a free kids meal entree; $5 donation for a free Crazy Good Crab Dip; and $10 donation for a free Classic Steampot. All proceeds from coupon sales and 10 percent of proceeds from the "Peace of the Puzzle" signature tie-dye T-shirt will go to Autism Speaks. Restaurants will also "Light it Up Blue" throughout the month to remind guests of the worthy cause.

Advocates can spread the word by posting photos of themselves supporting Autism Speaks with the hashtag #JoesGoesBlue. At the end of the campaign, Joe's will award gift cards to photo winners and post guests' photos in a puzzle mosaic on Joe's social media.

"We are thrilled that Joe's Crab Shack, one of our strongest supporters, is partnering with us again this year to support the Light It Up Blue campaign," said Autism Speaks Chief Strategy and Development Officer Alec Elbert. "Since the beginning of our partnership, we have been inspired by the support of Joe's Crab Shack's caring employees and guests who work to improve the lives of millions who are affected by autism."

Information about local Autism Speaks efforts is available here. To find the closest Joe's Crab Shack location, visit www.joescrabshack.com/locations.

About Joe's Crab Shack
Founded in Houston in 1991, Joe's Crab Shack brings its fresh seafood, authentic flavors and Southern flair to more than 135 locations in more than 30 states. Joe's menu is "100% Shore," featuring more than 25 crab items in addition to fish, lobster, mussels, clams and shrimp. The company supports causes in every neighborhood it serves and is a national partner in Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® Campaign, which is working to end childhood hunger in America. Joe's is a member of the Ignite Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:  IRG) portfolio of restaurants. For more information, go to www.joescrabshack.com.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140331/DA93787

Tracy Henderson or Ashley Bain

SOURCE Joe's Crab Shack