[START]Trevose, Pa. — Rita's Italian Ice, (http:///www.ritasice.com) the nation's largest Italian Ice concept, today announced the results of its sixth annual partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) which raised a total of $545,000 through in-store paper lemon sales to further pediatric cancer research.
]From June 1 through June 30, more than 550 Rita's locations asked Guests to donate $1 for a paper lemon to raise money for the charity. Additionally, new for 2011, Guests had the option to Text-To-Donate a one-time $5 donation. The Franchise Partner with the greatest contribution was the Boyertown store, which raised $20,105.
"We are so proud of our Rita's Franchise Partners and grateful to our Guests for making this program possible," said Jim Rudolph, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Rita's Italian Ice. "The entire Rita's family is committed to supporting ALSF and year after year our Guests show that they are as well."
"Every year we have partnered with Rita's, the results have been impressive and overwhelming," said Jay Scott, Alex's father and Executive Director of ALSF. "Rita's, along with their Franchise Partners and Guests, continue to be an integral part of mission to carry on my daughter Alex's legacy and find a cure for childhood cancer."
To add to the fundraising efforts, dedicated Franchise Partners held raffles, head shaving pledge drives and even a parking lot exercise class, with all proceeds going to the stores' ALSF funds.
Rita's will present a check for the donation to the ALSF team at an event this month that will celebrate families who have lived through the struggle of childhood cancer. At Rita's training headquarters, which is also a fully functional, year-round store known as "Cool U" within the Rita's family, children will get a behind the scenes look at making Italian Ice and other treats and will get to taste test products while participating in games and activities.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation [http://www.alexslemonade.org/lemonade_stand.php] (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). At the age of 4, Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of volunteers across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $40 million towards fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 200 research projects nationally. For more information, please visit www.AlexsLemonade.org [http://www.AlexsLemonade.org] .
Rita's Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 19 states with more than 550 stores. Rita's brand promise is Ice, Custard and Happiness™. The chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, and layered Gelati, healthy Light Line® treat options as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini® creations. Rita's was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal's 'Startup Journal.' In a 2009 Zagat survey of over 6,000 fast-food fans, Rita's was ranked #2 in the Top Ice Cream/Custard category. For more information about Rita's, please call 1-800-677-RITA or visit www.ritasice.com.