Rita's Italian Ice has kicked off its annual Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign and seventh annual partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer.
From today through June 30, all 550 Rita's Ice locations in 19 states will encourage guests to donate $1 for a paper lemon to raise money for the charity. The lemons will be used to build a "Wall of Hope," a visual tribute to the community's participation in the fundraiser, at each location.
Since 2006, Rita's has been a corporate partner of ALSF and implemented the paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research. In honor of the Foundation's namesake, the late Alexandra "Alex" Scott, Rita's renamed its Lemon 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.
Last year's Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign generated more than $500,000 in donations – one of the largest amounts Rita's has raised since the partnership began. Throughout the past six years, Rita's has raised more than $3 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming the leading corporate fundraising partner for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
"We couldn't be more proud of our Rita's Franchisees and their Treat Teams' efforts in raising funds and awareness for children battling cancer," said Jonathan Fornaci, president, Rita's Italian Ice. "This year we hope our Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign raises even more money for the fight against childhood cancer."
In addition to the Paper Lemon fundraising efforts, individual franchisees will also engage with their communities by hosting other activities to support the cause.
"We are continuously amazed by the ongoing support Rita's Franchise Company has provided to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation over the past six years," said Jay Scott, Alex's father and executive director of ALSF. "By enlisting the support of their Guests, Rita's helps to continue our daughter's legacy and allows us to take strides toward finding a cure for all children with cancer."
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