DENVER --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Every community has a shining star – someone who works hard to improve the world around them or donates their own time and energy to benefit a special cause or charity. Qdoba Mexican Grill® (www.qdoba.com) hopes to shine the light on many of these community stars through a new online campaign called Qmmunity, while at the same time shining a light on its own national charity partner, Starlight Children's Foundation. Through an easy online nomination and voting process, one Qmmunity star will be chosen to receive a grand prize – a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a Starlight Fun Center™ mobile entertainment unit donated to a hospital on Starlight's wait list in or near the winner's city of residence.
The launch of Qmmunity marks Qdoba's first national campaign with Starlight Children's Foundation. In 2008, Qdoba selected Starlight as the company's national charity partner. Starlight is an international charity dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. As part of the Qmmunity campaign, Qdoba will donate $1 to Starlight (up to $25,000) for every action visitors take on the Qmmunity site, including: submitting a nomination, voting for a nominee, Tweeting about a nominee, posting about the program on Facebook and making a public pledge.
Visitors to Qdoba's Qmmunity Web site are asked to nominate someone who is making a difference in their community by briefly sharing what makes that person a shining star: their story, cause, and their effect on their charity of choice and their community. Community stars supporting any 501(c)3 registered charities are eligible for entry. Once submitted, visitors are encouraged to campaign online and encourage others to vote for their favorite nominee using viral tools available through the site such as e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. At the end of the nomination and voting period on Nov. 1, 2009 (midnight EST), the five nominees with the most votes will become eligible to compete for the grand prize – a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice and a Starlight Fun Center donated to a hospital in their area.
"We are thrilled to launch Qdoba's Qmmunity to not only help raise money to support Starlight's efforts in brightening the lives of seriously ill children, but also to honor all the everyday stars who work tirelessly with other charities to improve their own communities," said Gary Beisler, president and CEO of Qdoba Mexican Grill. "Since we opened our first restaurant in 1995, our team members have demonstrated a passion for giving back to guests and to the communities in which Qdoba operates. Working together with our employees, Starlight, our guests and their communities, we hope that Qmmunity will ultimately help brighten the lives of people throughout the country."
From funding Starlight Fun Centers (mobile entertainment units for hospitalized children that include a Wii™ system by Nintendo, a Sharp® AQUOS™ LCD TV, and a DVD player) and hosting community events to donating food, money and volunteering hundreds of hours in cities across the country, Qdoba has committed itself to supporting Starlight as part of its vision to support youth and family initiatives within communities. Since 2008 Qdoba has donated more than $60,000 in food, coupons and special offers, Fun Centers and funds as well as hundreds of volunteer hours to Starlight programs across the country in locations including Denver; Chicago; Los Angeles; Seattle; Omaha, Neb.; Washington, D.C.; and Portland, Ore. to name just a few. Qdoba has also sponsored Starlight Fun Centers™ for placement in hospitals in St. Louis; Denver; Boston; and Dillon, Colo., and will soon be sponsoring a Fun Center for placement in the Atlanta area.
"We are very excited to be part of the launch of Qmmunity," said Starlight's CEO Paula Van Ness. "While it is another way that Qdoba helps us help sick children and their families, it will also spark a passion to give back when people read about the everyday stars of their neighborhoods. The community benefits will be extraordinary."
Qdoba Mexican Grill is an artisanal Mexican kitchen where anyone can go to enjoy a fast, handcrafted meal prepared with fresh ingredients and innovative flavors. Each Qdoba restaurant showcases food that celebrates Qdoba's passion for ingredients, a menu full of innovative flavors, handcrafted preparation and inviting service. Founded in Denver in 1995, Qdoba is among the nation's largest Mexican fast-casual chains with approximately 500 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Qdoba is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK). Franchise development rights exist for additional Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants in areas throughout the nation.
When a child or teenager has a serious medical condition, everyone in the family is affected. For 25 years, Starlight Children's Foundation has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. Starlight's programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of chapters and offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.