Rita's Italian Ice announced that it raised $388,237 following the June conclusion of the company's nationwide annual Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign and seventh annual partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures children's cancer.
A check presentation took place this week with Hero Families and childhood cancer survivors, along with ALSF's Jay Scott, accepting the donation and learning to scoop Rita's Italian Ice alongside CEO Jonathan Fornaci.
During June, more than 625 Rita's outlets encouraged guests to enjoy lemon Italian Ice 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 store's "Wall of Hope" to demonstrate the local community's support.
One Rita's outlet in Boyertown, Pa., hosted its annual hair-shaving event to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
"Our guests' show of support for Alex's mission again this year was truly amazing--every Rita's was just covered in paper lemons," Fornaci said. "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 and awareness of childhood cancer causes. 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, remains one of the company's most popular flavors.
Throughout the past seven years, Rita's has collectively raised more than $3.3 million for pediatric cancer research.
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