DALLAS, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing the long-standing tradition of giving back to local communities, Maggiano's Little Italy® today kicks off the ninth annual "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign benefiting Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. During the program, Maggiano's 44 U.S. restaurants will feature a number of delicious giving opportunities designed to raise enough funds to grant at least two wishes per restaurant. Since the campaign's inception in 1993, Maggiano's has donated more than $2.25 million to Make-A-Wish.
Through June 27, guests at all Maggiano's restaurants can contribute to the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign in the following ways:
- Eat! A perfect reflection of the season, the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu features five chef-inspired creations, including an appetizer, two pastas, one entree, and a dessert. When a guest orders a dish from the special menu, Maggiano's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish.
- Drink! While satisfying their palate, guests can also do good by quenching their thirst with Lauren's Lemonade, a non-alcoholic beverage named after a Make-A-Wish child. Lauren, 17, is from the Dallas – Ft. Worth area and Maggiano's is sponsoring her wish to go on a shopping spree in New York. For every Lauren's Lemonade ordered, Maggiano's will donate $.50.
- Listen! For the first time ever, the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign is touching all the senses with the introduction of an exclusive Maggiano's and Make-A-Wish album titled, "The Wish List." While jiving to 12 track selections inspired by Maggiano's popular playlist, like Dean Martin's "Memories are Made of This," Mel Torme's "Heart and Soul" and Tennessee Ernie Ford's "What a Wonderful World," guests can peruse stories and photos of Make-A-Wish children on the CD cover. The CD is available in restaurants for $12.95, with a percentage of proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish. Guests who purchase the CD also receive a $20 Maggiano's Bonus Card valid for redemption from June 28 to Aug. 29, 2012.
- Like! Starting today, for every new fan that "likes" Maggiano's Facebook page, the brand will donate an additional $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $25,000.
In addition to these give back options, Maggiano's will also sell decorative star-shaped cards, which guests can purchase for an amount of their choosing with 100 percent of proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. The stars feature inspirational stories of Make-A-Wish children and will be displayed with the name of the donating patron in restaurants. For those unable to make it into Maggiano's during the campaign, guests can now make a direct donation to Make-A-Wish online through the s-little_20italy>Maggiano's Friends & Family Page.
While guests are doing their part during the campaign, each Maggiano's restaurant will host two "wish enhancement dinners" for local Make-A-Wish children and their families. In addition to these send-off and welcome-home wish parties, many restaurants also host public events ranging from dinner theatre productions to food and wine tastings to benefit Make-A-Wish.
"Giving back to the communities in which our guests call home is ingrained in Maggiano's culture, and the annual 'Eat-A-Dish' campaign gives our restaurants the opportunity to come together and celebrate this tradition," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy. "Through the creativity of our chefs, the passion of our teammates, and the support of our guests each year, we have helped make wishes come true for more than 300 children since the campaign began nine years ago."
Throughout the year, Maggiano's continually supports Make-A-Wish by organizing special events to honor wish children and donating $1 from the sale of seasonal feature desserts.
"For nearly a decade, Maggiano's and its employees have come up with new and creative ways to raise money to help us grant life-changing wishes to more kids with life-threatening medical conditions," said David A. Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and chief executive officer. "We are excited about the new elements of the 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' program and the opportunities Maggiano's is offering guests to support wish-granting that span beyond the walls of its restaurants."
The "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu is available to dine-in or carryout guests and features the following dishes:
- Shrimp, Crab and Avocado Lemonette – Fresh avocado wedges, lump crab and shrimp tossed in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette with red peppers and arugula
- Chicken Romano – Herb and asiago-crusted chicken served with artichokes, tomatoes and angel hair with a white wine lemon sauce
- Veal Meatball Bolognese – Gnocchi pasta simmered in a beef, Italian sausage and vegetable sauce topped with veal and ricotta meatballs and parmesan cheese
- Grilled Mahi Mahi & Shrimp – Fresh mahi mahi and shrimp grilled to perfection on a bed of orzo with snap peas, radishes and a citrus and herb vinaigrette
- Fresh Berry Tiramisu – Orange-soaked lady fingers and sweet mascarpone cheese layered with fresh blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and fresh berry sauce
- Lauren's Lemonade – Refreshing mix of peach puree, pomegranate and lemonade garnished with lemons and served with a smile
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 32 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 Make-A-Wish Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed say a wish come true can affect their health outcomes. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, the Foundation is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States, its territories and in 47 countries on five continents. With the help of generous donors and more than 30,000 volunteers worldwide, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish somewhere in the world every 23 minutes. It has granted more than 280,000 wishes since its inception in 1980. Visit Make-A-Wish America at www.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.
SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy