RALEIGH, N.C. — The Apple Gold Group, franchisee of Applebee’s restaurants in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas, recently announced that its 3rd annual March fundraising program in its North Carolina restaurants for The V Foundation for Cancer Research raised more than $118,000, a 55% increase from last year. Applebees’ Leland location was among the top fundraising restaurants.
An expansion of The V Foundation’s 8th Annual “Show Your Spirit®” Campaign, Apple Gold’s fundraising program tasked Apple Gold Group’s 51 Applebee’s restaurants throughout North Carolina to raise as much money as possible between March 1 and the Final Four Championship. Applebee’s guests were invited to donate $1 to the cause. In return, guests were able to write a personal message on a paper basketball representing their school of choice. A special pink basketball design was also an option, created in honor of the late Kay Yow.
In addition to selling the $1 paper basketballs, management teams also rallied employees to organize activities to supplement guest donations. Such activities included bake sales, tricycle races, dunking booths, yard sales and family festivals. One restaurant’s employees vowed to stay on the roof until a specified amount was donated.
The top fundraising restaurants included Leland, Jacksonville, Morehead City, Garner and Mooresville, each of which raised between $5,000 and $8,000.
“I am extremely proud of our employees and thankful to our guests for coming together and contributing to the important cause of finding a cure for cancer, a disease that touches everyone,” said Michael Olander, President and CEO of Apple Gold Group. “Three years ago, the employees of the Apple Gold Group chose The V Foundation as our ‘charity of choice’ in North Carolina and this fundraiser demonstrates just how passionate we are about that cause.”
“We are grateful for the support and effort of the Apple Gold team,” said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. “It is remarkable to see what a difference people can make when they come together, and we are proud to have the support of employees and patrons of Applebee’s.”
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $80 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. The Foundation, which has received sixth consecutive top 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Review Committee. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
Apple Gold, Inc., one of the original five Applebee’s Franchisees, was founded in 1984 to develop and operate Applebee’s restaurants in North Carolina, opening its first Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Cary, North Carolina in 1985. A decade later, the company expanded its territory to include Oklahoma and then Arkansas, and currently operates 72 restaurants in those three states. The Apple Gold Group strives to be a recognized leader in both the casual dining industry and in local charitable fundraising. For more information on Apple Gold Group, please visit www.AppleGoldCareers.com.