November 22, 2010 // Franchising.com // Leawood, KS – In the past three years, Houlihan's restaurants have raised more than $135,000 on behalf of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, restored music education in three public schools, and recently rallied more than 26,000 fans on Facebook to get behind the noble cause. Now, Houlihan's is dedicating a new line of delectable "MashUp" desserts for year-round support of music education. Houlihan's will donate 25 cents from each new dessert, up to $200,000, to VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
The new "MashUp" dessert line consists of four options of chocolate Brownie Lollies, including peanut butter, dark chocolate raspberry, Junior Mints® and milk chocolate, as well as four flavors of homemade ice creams: s'mores, raspberry, caramel mocchiato, and Chick O Stick®. Guests can also opt to support the VH1 Save The Music Foundation by adding a donation to the bottom of their receipt.
"By adding a permanent source of fundraising to our menu, we're hoping to put instruments in the hands of more and more children each year," said Jen Gulvik, Vice President of Marketing for Houlihan's. "As music education continues to erode at an alarming rate in public schools facing budget cuts across the country, we're challenging our staff and our restaurants to make a bigger impact. If a child can't have music, who suffers?"
In conjunction with the launch of the "MashUp" desserts, Houlihan's is heading out on its national Hou Gives a Flute Tour to rally guests across major U.S. markets to support the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Starting November 22, five brand ambassadors will hit the road and travel to eight cities to visit green rooms and backstage areas at music venues to gather celebrities' and artists' signatures on a guitar valued at $1,000. Guests at these concerts will have the chance to text-in for a chance to win $5,000 in Live Nation® Concert Cash. The decked out guitar will make its way to Houlihan's restaurants in major markets, including Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, to eventually be auctioned off to the highest bidder on charitybuzz.com in February. All proceeds will benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
Since its founding in 1997, VH1 Save The Music Foundation has helped "save" or restore music programs in thousands of public schools, which traditionally face fine arts activity cuts when budgets tighten. The Foundation has also helped countless children enjoy the benefits of musical study, including improved self-esteem and increased SAT scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates and problem-solving skills.
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. 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, 97 Houlihan's restaurants operate throughout the country, 61 of which are franchised. 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 Bristol Seafood Grill and J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks. For more information, please visit www.houlihans.com or find Houlihan's on Facebook at www.facebook.com/houlihans.
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! To join the movement to First Make Music, Then Make History, visit www.vh1savethemusic.com