July 17, 2009 // Franchising.com // Leawood, Kan. – As public schools suffer more than ever before due to the faltering economy , Houlihan's Restaurants, Inc. is energized about its second nationwide fundraising campaign to support the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and help restore instrumental music education programs.
Now through Sept. 4, 2009, for every Mojito Margarita and S'Mores Fondue dessert sold at nearly 90 Houlihan's corporate stores and franchises across the country, the restaurant will donate $1, up to $30,000, to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Houlihan's guests can opt to make personal donations to the fund by noting a desired amount on their guest checks.
Houlihan's executives hope to build on the success of last year's inaugural campaign, when more than $54,000 was donated to VH1 Save The Music Foundation to provide music education programs for two schools – one in Wilkinsburg, PA and the other in St. Louis, MO. From the organization of Guitar Hero competitions to concerts put on by local high school bands, Houlihan's restaurants galvanized their local communities to collect funds for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and raise awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's education.
"Music is a critical piece of Houlihan's customer experience," said Jen Gulvik, Vice President of Marketing for Houlihan's. "Our music selection draws from the many lesser-known artists as we feel it is important to give budding artists a chance to be heard. Similarly, we strongly believe that every child should have the chance to play an instrument, join a band, and enjoy the many benefits music brings to life. In partnering with VH1 Save The Music Foundation, we hope to help restore music education in our schools and generate awareness about the fact that many kids are growing up with out access to instruments or music programs."
Since its founding in 1997, VH1 Save The Music Foundation has helped "save" music programs in thousands of public schools, which traditionally cut fine arts activities when budgets tighten. Also, the foundation has helped countless children enjoy the benefits of musical study, including improved self-esteem and increased SAT scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, etc.
"We are thrilled that Houlihan's will again galvanize their employees and customers to help increase awareness and raise funds for music education in the U.S." said Paul Cothran, Executive Director for VH1 Save The Music Foundation. "With widespread budget cuts and lack of public funds, more schools across the county depend on our funds and the goodwill of partners like Houlihan's to provide their students with instruments and music classes."
In addition to restoring instrumental music programs in the nation's public schools, VH1 Save The Music Foundation aims to raise awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's education. For example, U.S. Department of Education data shows that students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music during the middle- and high-school years show significantly higher levels of math proficiency by grade 12. In general, music helps develop the essential skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century workforce: critical thinking, creative problem solving, team work, and more.
Established in 1972, Houlihan's is a progressive concept that bridges the gap between fine dining and what people have come to expect from casual dining, priding itself on style and quality appropriate for any occasion, any day of the week. Houlihan's offers guests an inviting atmosphere, eclectic menu and energetic bar environment with creative, diverse drink offerings. Inspired by fare around the globe, Houlihan's crafts dishes made from scratch with assertive flavors, offering a unique culinary experience. Currently, more than one hundred Houlihan's restaurants operate throughout the country. Houlihan's is owned by Houlihan's Restaurants, Inc. of Leawood, Kansas, a pioneer in the full-service, casual dining industry that developed and owns several restaurant concepts comprising of approximately 115 locations from coast to coast, including Devon Seafood Grill and J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks.
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America's public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. Since 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has successfully restored and sustained instrumental music programs in 1,600 public schools in more than 100 cities across the country, including Memphis, Houston, Chicago, New York, Denver, Baltimore and Milwaukee. Over the past ten years, various artists and celebrities have shown their devotion to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation by partnering with the organization as they've reached out to struggling school districts across the country. This year, Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Chris Webber, Gavin DeGraw, NE-YO, Johnny Rzeznik, Natasha Bedingfield, The Fray, Tamia, 3 Doors Down and Venus Williams serve as The Foundation's Inaugural Class of Ambassadors, each raising funds and delivering key messages on behalf of The Foundation. To date, VH1 Save The Music has provided more than $43 million in new musical instruments, affecting the lives of more than 1.2 million children. It is The Foundation's renewed commitment to donate one hundred million dollars worth of new musical instruments to ensure that even a greater number of students receive a comprehensive music education in the coming decade!