Rita's Italian Ice announced today it raised $180,988 during its annual Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign and eighth annual partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.

A check presentation will take place July 31 with childhood cancer survivors and their families, along with ALSF's Jay and Liz Scott, accepting the donation from Rita's executives.

During two weeks in June, 600 Rita's outlets encouraged guests to 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 outlet's "Wall of Hope."

Rita's outlet in Boyertown, Pa., was the top contributor system-wide, raising $23,622. On June 30, the unit hosted its 8th annual head 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 covered in yellow paper lemons," said Laura Lazar, senior vice president, Marketing for Rita's. "Several Rita's franchisees held Celebrity Scoop Nights and invited childhood cancer survivors to scoop Italian Ice and raise additional funds for the charity."

Rita's has been a corporate partner of ALSF since 2006. Throughout the past eight years, Rita's has collectively raised more than $3.6 million for pediatric cancer research.

Read more about cause marketing.

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