NEWTOWN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar, and Corner Bakery Cafe today announced it has raised more than $1.6 million for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). For the fifth year running, the event was led by The Rose Group, a Pennsylvania-based franchisee of Applebee's and Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants, and its partner Apple American Group. The companies have rallied support from their local communities, raising much needed money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Alex Scott, who dedicated her short life to battling childhood cancer "one cup of lemonade at a time."
"For the past five years, The Rose Group and Apple American Group have made it a priority to bring Alex's dream to life," said Harry T. Rose, chairman and CEO of The Rose Group. "And with every year that passes, we've come that much closer to helping cure pediatric cancer. Raising $1.6 million is no small feat and with the environment we're in, this really speaks to the commitment of our neighborhoods and everyone involved who took the time to make a difference in a child's life."
This year participating Applebee's restaurants donated 25 cents from every glass of lemonade sold to Alex's. Guests who donated $5 toward the charity were entered in a contest to win free Applebee's meals for a year. Local restaurants did their part by hosting various events, including in-restaurant lemonade stands, contests, carnivals and car washes. All the restaurants involved went above and beyond their set goals, including the Pottstown Applebee's raising more than $18,000; Trexlertown raising more than $16,000; and Easton and Allentown raising more than $12,000. Local Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants have raised more than $1,000 each by selling $1 paper lemons over the five-week initiative. Additionally, both restaurants accepted donations from individuals who just wanted to help support the cause.
The Pottstown Applebee's pulled out all the stops with its Battle of the Bands competition on June 19 at the historic Sunnybrook Ballroom, raising more than $6,000. The event showcased local bands and DJ's, judged by professional drummer Daoud Shaw, music producer Phil Nicolo, and Alex's dad, Jay Scott.
"The Rose Group and Apple American Group continue to amaze us year after year with their commitment and dedication," said Liz Scott. "Looking at how this all started with Alex and a lemonade stand in our front yard, it is absolutely incredible to see where we are today and the support we've received. Our heartfelt thanks go out to them for their support over the past five years."
Overall, each store raised 125 percent of what they collected last year with in-store promotions.
"So many restaurants and communities went above and beyond expectations this year. It's inspiring what we all can do when we work together," continued Rose.
Starting in 2005 and armed with more than 100 restaurants in Southeastern PA, Southern NJ, Delaware, Baltimore, Wilkes Barre/Scranton and the Lehigh Valley, The Rose Group and Apple American have worked hand-in-hand over the past five years on this fundraiser. With the help of corporate sponsors and thousands of individual stands nationwide, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has funded more than 100 research projects at over 40 institutions across the country.
The Rose Group, headquartered in Newtown, PA, is the 33rd largest restaurant franchise company in the United States. They currently own and operate 59 Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware. The company was recently selected as the first franchisee for Corner Bakery Cafe, operating four cafes in Eastern Pennsylvania with plans to add additional units in the Philadelphia and South Jersey markets. The Rose Group also co-owns and operates The Shannon Rose, an independent Irish pub and restaurant in North Jersey.
Apple American Group LLC owns and operates approximately 189 Applebee's restaurants in California, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Washington and West Virginia. Apple American Group is the top franchise developer in the Applebee's® system with average growth of over 10% per year. With over 11,000 employees Apple American Group is the largest franchisee in the Applebee's® system, and is one of the 10 largest franchisees of any concept in the world.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). At the age of 4, Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of volunteers across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $25 million towards fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 100 research projects nationally including those examining leukemia, brain tumors, neuroblastoma, Wilm's tumor, lymphoma, and osteosarcoma among others.