St. Jude, Chili's Franchise Expand Online Giving Efforts During Seventh Annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer Campaign

Chili's incorporates social media to raise funds for unprecedented $50 million, 10-year pledge to St. Jude

MEMPHIS, Tenn. /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) and Chili's(R) Grill & Bar are tapping into the power of the digital world, making it easier than ever for guests to donate to St. Jude during the seventh annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month and now through Sept. 30, guests can donate in restaurants nationwide, online, or via text message. Donations made during the Create-A-Pepper campaign support the St. Jude mission of finding cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.

Chili's is using e-mail, texting, Facebook and Twitter to give guests more ways to donate and stay informed during the Create-A-Pepper campaign. Guests can:

  • Use in-restaurant chili pepper coloring sheets to join Chili's e-club. For every new e-club member in September, Chili's will donate $1 to St. Jude, up to $1 million.
  • Using a mobile phone, text HOPE to 90999 to make a $5 donation. Visit www.createapepper.com or www.chilis.com for more details.
  • Become a Fan and donate on Facebook through the specialized "Create-A-Pepper" tab on Chili's Facebook page.
  • Create an e-card at www.createapepper.com to e-mail family and friends.
  • Visit www.createapepper.com to make an online donation.
  • Stay informed about the Create-A-Pepper campaign by following the brand on Twitter @Chilis.

Chili's also offers a variety of ways to contribute inside participating restaurants nationwide. At Chili's, guests can:

  • Make a donation to St. Jude and receive a Create-A-Pepper chili pepper coloring sheet. Decorated sheets will be displayed in restaurants throughout September.
  • Buy a five-pack of chili pepper-shaped Create-A-Pepper wrist bands for only $3 and at least 30 percent of the retail price will be donated to St. Jude.
  • Dine on Monday, Sept. 27, when Chili's will donate 100 percent of profits from participating restaurant sales to St. Jude.

"Chili's Create-A-Pepper campaign has raised millions of dollars for childhood cancer research and we are so thankful to have such generous and passionate partners in our mission," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "We are grateful for the amazing support from Chili's guests. Their contributions help St. Jude provide care and find cures for our patients and their families."

"Each year since the 2003 inception of the Create-A-Pepper campaign, Chili's team members search for new ways to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude," said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "This year, with the addition of digital donation components, we've found yet another unique and interactive way to give back to St. Jude."

To date, Chili's has raised more than $30 million of its $50 million, 10-year commitment to St. Jude. Once completed, the donation will be the largest donation from a single partner campaign in St. Jude history.

The relationship between Chili's and St. Jude 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 of putting patients and scientists in the same building to fast-track the translation of new knowledge into better care for children around the world. The Chili's Care Center is the first medical building on the St. Jude campus to bear the name of a corporate partner.

To learn more or make an online donation to the campaign, visit www.createapepper.com.

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. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. St. Jude was also named the nation's top children's cancer hospital in the 2010-11 Best Children's Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report.

Chili's Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (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 1,500 locations in 30 countries and two territories. Brinker's wholly-owned restaurant brands include Chili's(R) Grill & Bar, and Maggiano's Little Italy(R). Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill(R).Follow news about Chili's on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chilis, @Chilis on Twitter and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/chilis.

About Create-A-Pepper:Each September during National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Chili's(R) Grill & Bar kicks off a nationwide fundraiser for longtime charitable partner, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) in an effort to raise $50 million in 10 years to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. Throughout the Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign, guests at locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico can help support the lifesaving work of St. Jude through several in-restaurant, digital and interactive promotions.

SOURCE Chili's Grill & Bar

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