ATLANTA - December 11, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Hooters of America, LLC, today announced that Florida native and 2013 Miss Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant first runner-up, Francesca Ruffino, has joined Self-Help International, a non-profit that works to end world hunger and poverty through grass roots efforts. Ruffino, a 19-year-old Cape Coral, Fla., native, was selected by a panel of celebrity judges as the first runner up in Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant and named Self-Help International as her charitable platform.
"When you give someone the tools they need to help themselves it’s going to change their life. The people whose lives we change today are going to change someone else’s life tomorrow. I am so thankful to Hooters for giving me the opportunity to work with this wonderful organization."
Self-Help International supports communities at the grass roots level in an effort to relieve world hunger. Many of its mission work initiatives include introducing, promoting and growing its own Quality Protein Maze (QPM) seed to improve crops and nutrition, increasing women’s empowerment and income through microcredit enterprises and targeting malnutrition through children’s feeding programs.
After learning about her steadfast commitment to the organization, a Hooters franchise sponsored Ruffino’s mission trip to Nicaragua with Self-Help International where she was able to teach locals how to improve their lives in order to break the cycle of poverty. During her week-long stay, Ruffino visited families in their homes, helped teach hygiene and self-esteem classes to women and brought school supply packets to children.
"What makes me so passionate about this specific charity is that it is geared toward helping people help themselves," said Ruffino. "When you give someone the tools they need to help themselves it’s going to change their life. The people whose lives we change today are going to change someone else’s life tomorrow. I am so thankful to Hooters for giving me the opportunity to work with this wonderful organization."
Hooters has a long history of supporting philanthropic efforts from breast cancer research fundraising efforts benefiting The V Foundation for Cancer Research to supporting servicemen and women through military programs like Hooters for Heroes and Operation Calendar Drop.
To request an interview with Ruffino, or to find additional information on Hooters charitable efforts, please visit the Hooters newsroom at http://news.hooters.com.
Self-Help International is grass roots non-profit organization, an ecumenical non-profit 501 (c)(3 established in 1959 by Vern Schield. The organization originally shipped tractors around the world to farmers in need, but changed the nature of its work to training farmers in agricultural development at the grass roots level when given the opportunity to partner with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Norman Borlaug. Today, Self-Help International has several missions: to introduce, promote and grow its own Quality Protein Maize (QPM) seed to improve crops and nutrition, increase women’s empowerment and income through their micro-credit enterprises and target malnutrition through children’s feeding programs.
Hooters of America, LLC is the franchisor and operator of more than 412 Hooters restaurants in 44 states and 27 foreign countries. The first Hooters opened in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. Everyone is liberated from the ordinary at Hooters while enjoying great food, fun and uniquely-Hooters service from the iconic Hooters Girls. For more information about Hooters visit www.Hooters.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/Hooters or www.Facebook.com/Hooters.