TREVOSE, Pa. June 2, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Rita's Italian Ice, the world's largest Italian Ice concept with over 600 franchised stores has kicked off its 9th annual Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign with longtime nonprofit partner, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer. From June 1st – June 30th, all Rita's Italian Ice stores encourage Guests to purchase a paper lemon for $1, all of which goes to "Rita's Fund of Hope" which is a travel fund endowment that helps families with children battling cancer travel to receive the treatment that can help save their lives. The paper lemons are used to build a "Wall of Hope" at each Rita's location as a visual tribute to the community's participation in the fundraiser.
Lemon, one of Rita's original Italian Ice flavors in 1984, and still a fan favorite, was renamed "Alex's Lemonade" in 2008 in honor of the late Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004), for whom ALSF was named. Each year in June Rita's continues Alex's mission to raise funds for children with cancer. Over the past 9 years, Rita's has raised $3.6 million, becoming one of the leading corporate fundraising partners for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
"Rita's is proud to have partnered with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation since 2006," said Jeff Moody, CEO of Rita's Italian Ice. "The work Alex's does to fund cancer research is phenomenal and it is an honor for Rita's to be able to provide funding so that sick children can travel to access their breakthrough treatments. Every year we encourage our Franchisees, Treat Team Members and Guests to help make a difference in the lives of children with cancer, and are thrilled to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation with Rita's Fund of Hope again this June."
Rita's is kicking off this year's fundraiser with childhood cancer survivor and ALSF Hero, Cole Fitzgerald, who will be "Rita's CEO of the Day" on Monday, June 2nd, 2014. Cole will go behind-the-scenes at Rita's corporate headquarters for a day of "executive" fun. In his first official CEO of the Day duty, Cole will announce Rita's delivering Alex's Lemonade Italian Ice to local children's hospitals around the country to spread a little happiness to children fighting cancer.
"The Travel Fund endowed by Rita's will help many families who have kids with cancer," said Jay Scott, Alex's father and Co-Executive Director of ALSF. "For example, a child with stage 4 cancer had to travel 1200 miles, 43 times back and forth to the hospital to receive treatment. Gas cards and hotel stay provided by the travel fund made it possible—the treatment saved the child's life."
Join Rita's in their 9th annual Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation fundraiser and donate to help kids with cancer. Visit www.ritasice.com to find your nearest location. For more information about ALSF, visit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Rita's Franchise Company, whose business is treats and mission is happiness, was founded 30 years ago, and is headquartered in Trevose, PA. Rita's is the largest Italian Ice concept in the world, with over 600 stores in the U.S., and 85 more opening soon. The popular chain offers a variety of "Cool Treats" including its famous Italian Ice, made fresh daily with real fruit, available in over sixty-five flavors, Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard, Sundaes, Light Custard, Frozen Custard Cakes, Custard Cookie Sandwiches made with OREO®, layered Gelati as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini® creations. Since 1984, Rita's has been dedicated to serving up a big dose of happiness with their freshly made, delicious, custom treats, in a fun-filled atmosphere, and thirty years later, they are still spreading "Ice, Custard, Happiness!" Get Rita's. Get Happy! For more information about Rita's Franchise Opportunities please visit: www.ownaritas.com or for more information please call 1-800-677-7482 or visit www.ritasice.com.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old 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 supporters 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 $80 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 450 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
SOURCE Rita's Italian Ice