September 26, 2012 // Franchising.com // BOSTON, Massachusetts - How far would you walk to help out a family member? If you are Nick D’Alleva, 50 miles is not too far to go if it means getting closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, a disease that has stricken two family members.
D’Alleva joined other relatives recently for the three-day MS Challenge Walk through the streets of Cape Cod to help raise funds toward finding a cure for MS. It was just the latest effort in what has become a personal and professional crusade for the Boston-based Edible Arrangements franchisee.
D’Alleva first became aware of the realities of multiple sclerosis (MS) when his brother-in-law, Carl Lombardi, and Carl’s daughter, Melissa, were both diagnosed with the disease just nine years apart. In 2005, Carl’s brother, Kevin took part in a fundraising walk for the National MS Society and shortly thereafter, Nick joined in.
“We are a family, and when your family is in pain, you do everything in your power to fight for them,” says D’Alleva. “That walk inspired Kevin to take charge and I just jumped in with him.”
The next year they pulled more family members together to create the “Lombardi Party” as a group fundraising team. And now, just six years later, the “Lombardi Party” is the largest fundraiser for MS in the state of Massachusetts.
Already this year the group has raised $56,000, thanks in large part to D’Alleva’s decision to use his Edible Arrangements franchise as a tool in the fight against MS. Earlier this year, he approached fellow Edible Arrangements franchisees in the area to help him raise funds through a special promotion. The group raised $10,000 and now there are discussions about taking the effort into other markets.
“This cause is very personal to my family and when things get personal, there are no limits to what you can do,” adds D’Alleva.
He applies that optimism to every area of his life. Not only does D’Alleva run his three Boston-area Edible Arrangements stores, but he also contributes to all of the “Lombardi Party” fundraising events. From comedy and Vegas nights to golf and whiffle ball tournaments, D’Alleva devotes much of his free time to help lead in the fight against MS.
“I pretty much have two full time jobs and you couldn’t pay me to give up either of them,” he says. “Taking care of my family is my only priority, and I’ll continue working to that end in every way that I can.”
With over 1,100 locations open or under development worldwide, Edible Arrangements International, LLC. is the leading purveyor of delicious, high quality, artistically designed, fresh fruit arrangements that are practical and healthy gifts and centerpieces for everyday occasions and events. Brothers Tariq and Kamran Farid developed and launched the company in 1999 in East Haven, CT, after many years in the floral industry. Edible Arrangements stores are located in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Italy, Turkey, Hong Kong, Jordan, Oman, India and China. The company has been recognized as an industry leader since its inception, including ranking first in its category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual “Franchise 500” for the past six years and also placing in Entrepreneur’s top 40 of “Fastest Growing Franchises” and “America’s Top Global Franchises.” Edible Arrangements was the winner of the ICSC’s 2010 Hot Retailer Award and the company has also ranked in Inc. Magazine’s top 5,000 fastest growing privately-held companies for nine consecutive years, ranked #1 in Forbes “2012 Top 20 Franchises for the Buck” and was recently named one of Inc’s “10 Promising Franchises for 2011.” The company also was recently named one of the Top 100 internet retailers by Internet Retailer magazine and ranked #27 in 1851's Social 100: Top Social Media Campaigns That Stand Out. In addition, the Edible Arrangements website was ranked among the Top 30 in ForeSee’s Top 100 e-Retail Satisfaction Index. More information about Edible Arrangements and Edible Arrangements franchise opportunities is available at 1-888-727-4258 or online at www.eafranchise.com.