TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES RESTAURANTS THAT GIVE BACK
Whataburger, San Angelo Restaurant Association, Café Momentum, Blue Baker, and The Backyard Grill selected as the 2017 Restaurant Neighbor Award state winners to compete for the national prize of $10,000
(AUSTIN, TX) -The Texas Restaurant Association announced today its 2017 Restaurant Neighbor award state winners. These individuals and restaurant groups have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to serving their communities through outstanding charitable service and philanthropy and will advance to the national level to compete for the grand prize of $10,000 to support their favorite charity or non-profit.
The Texas winners are:
Restaurant Neighbor Awards
Whataburger (San Antonio, Texas): For more than 60 years, Whataburger has been deeply committed to supporting communities. Whataburger's employees, known as Family Members, are proud to serve through charitable giving and volunteerism to a number of nonprofit organizations focused on children's charities, with an emphasis on education, disabilities and abuse prevention; cancer research; hunger assistance; disaster relief and military support. When the Houston area encountered torrential rainfall and severe flooding in April of 2016, Whataburger made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help Texas families pick up the pieces. Whataburger's donation helped further flood relief efforts in the Houston area and across Texas. Meanwhile, 129 Whataburger restaurants across the city were proud to serve uniformed first-responders for free.
SAN ANGELO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION (SAN ANGELO, TX): SARA has sponsored Spring Chicken Affair for more than 30 years, which is a community event benefitting West Texas Rehabilitation Center (WTRC) in San Angelo, Texas. For the last 34 years, SARA has been the sole provider of green beans, condiments, and other food needs for the event, as well as many of the event day volunteers. Since 2009, more than $372,353 has been raised through the event for WTRC.
CAFÉ MOMENTUM (DALLAS, TX): Café Momentum is a restaurant training platform that provides post-release paid internships for juvenile offenders, through which they receive intensive culinary, job, and life skills training as well as continued mentoring and support to foster successful reentry into the community. In addition to significantly reducing recidivism, they create opportunities for long-term, sustainable employment for a demographic that would otherwise continue to burden the justice system and taxpayers. Designed to increase stable employment and decrease recidivism, the 12-month Internship is their flagship program.
BLUE BAKER (COLLEGE STATION, TX): For a small restaurant, Blue Baker has donated about $20,000 per year to local charities and nonprofits since 2001. They also conduct weekly bakery tours, monthly cookie sales and sales sharing nights with local organizations, and annual partnership with the Christmas Angels program.
The cookie sales provide non-profit groups an opportunity to educate guests about their cause while raising funds for their group. An iced cookie shape is created that conveys each group's cause. Blue Baker sells these cookies for one week and donate all profits from the iced cookies sold that week to the group.
In 2016, Blue Baker has partnered with local organizations in Austin and College Station, including: The Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas, The Pink Alliance, Books & a Blanket, Lemonade Day, Bryan ISD Education Foundation, The Salvation Army, The Big Event, Fish Camp, Junior League of Brazos County, and many other groups.
THE BACKYARD GRILL (HOUSTON, TX): The Backyard Grill is involved with several charitable organizations, but Cy Hope is our main charity that we devote our time, talent and treasure to. Each year we host the BYG BASH Golf Tourney and all proceeds go to Cy Hope. Over the past five years we have donated more than $60,000 from this event. Our staff participates in a Backpack program which delivers food to economically disadvantaged children each week. We are also a main sponsor in the Cy Hope Larry Dierker Celebrity Golf Tournament.
The Backyard Grill donates 10,000 meals each year to the children of Cy Fair ISD for recognition and awards. Each spring The Backyard Grill sell thousands of dollars in raffle tickets to help the Cy Fair Educational Foundation - which raises money to provide over $300,000 in scholarships each year to high school seniors in our school district.
"We are very proud of our Texas Restaurant Neighbor Award winners. This group embodies the true spirit of these awards, encompassing generosity, community and philanthropy in their day to day operations," says Richie Jackson, CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. "The Restaurant Neighbor Awards provide an excellent opportunity to shine the spotlight on those who are so often working behind the scene to make our communities a better place."
Three national Restaurant Neighbor Award winners are chosen from all the states by a panel of industry professionals. Those selected will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. in March 2017 where they will be honored at a gala awards dinner during the National Restaurant Association's Public Affairs Conference. Each national winner receives $10,000 to support their charitable giving efforts. Developed 18 years ago, the program is sponsored by American Express.
Find more information and stories from all winning applicants at www.ChooseRestaurants.org/Awards .
About the Texas Restaurant Association
The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA represents the state's $52.4 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of 42,500 plus locations and a workforce of 1.2 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the Association represents, educates and promotes the growing industry. www.txrestaurant.org .
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry's service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to provide a record 14.4 million jobs, making it the nation's second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.
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