St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R), Chili's(R) Grill & Bar Kick-off Sixth Annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer Campaign

Chili's seeks to raise funds for its unprecedented $50 million, 10-year pledge to St. Jude

MEMPHIS, Tenn. // PRNewswire // -- At a time when many nonprofits are seeing donations decline, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital((R)) is receiving a boost from Chili's((R)) Grill & Bar thanks to the launch of the sixth annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. Now through Sept. 30, Chili's restaurants around the country will observe National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by inviting guests to support the St. Jude mission to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases through research and treatment.

Guests at participating Chili's restaurants can contribute to St. Jude in multiple ways:

  • Make a donation to St. Jude and receive a Create-A-Pepper chili pepper coloring sheet. Decorated sheets will be displayed in restaurants nationwide throughout September.
  • Purchase Create-A-Pepper T-shirts that can be customized with permanent marker.
  • Buy a customized Create-A-Pepper key that can be cut for use at home orthe office.
  • Eat at Chili's on Monday, Sept. 28, when Chili's will donate100 percent of profits from participating restaurant sales to St. Jude.
  • Visit www.createapepper.com to make an online donation.

"Each year the Chili's Create-A-Pepper campaign inspires Chili's guests to support St. Jude, and we are so thankful to have such generous and enthusiastic partners in our mission," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., Chief Executive Officer of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "We are so grateful that we can depend on Chili's support, and we appreciate every dollar given by their guests to help continue finding the cures and providing the treatments that will save children's lives."

"We are excited about our commitment to St. Jude and our team members look forward to Create-A-Pepper every year," said Todd Diener, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "Chili's considers ourselves part of the communities we serve, and communities band together in tough times. Particularly during these trying economic times, it's more important than ever to assist children and families with the inability to pay so they can get the medical attention they need."

To date, Chili's has raised $25 million of its $50 million over 10 years commitment to St. Jude. Once completed, the donation will be the largest donation from a single partner campaign in St. Jude history.

Chili's and St. Jude's relationship goes beyond fundraising, however. In November 2007, the two celebrated a significant milestone in their partnership with the opening of the Chili's Care Center. The seven-floor, 340,000-square foot facility combines 21st century imaging and treatment technology with St. Jude's proven approach to medical research: put patients and scientists in the same building to fast-track the translation of new knowledge into better care for children around the nation. The Chili's Care Center is the first medical building on the St. Jude campus to bear the name of a corporate partner.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization.

Chili's Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili's offers a fun, energetic atmosphere and a distinct, fresh mix of grilled American favorites at 1,400 locations in 29 countries and two territories. Other Brinker brands include Maggiano's Little Italy(R) and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina(R). Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill(R).

SOURCE Chili's Grill & Bar

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