Good Neighbor Awards Announced, Three Association Members are NYS Winners
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Restaurants demonstrate an unwavering commitment to their communities in good times and bad. Perhaps no other industry has deeper community roots. In large and small communities, people turn to restaurants each day for sustenance, support and socialization – and restaurants give back to their communities, improving the quality of life for all they serve.
With nine in 10 restaurants involved in community service, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation works to raise awareness of the many philanthropic efforts taking place in the restaurant industry across America.
This year three Association members were recipients of the Good Neighbor Award at the state level.
Ben’s Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen
Greenvale, New York
For the last 20 years Ben’s Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen company has worked with local soup kitchens in and around its Greenvale, NY-based headquarters. Working with organizations that are affiliated with the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN), Ben’s makes it a weekly habit to donate all leftover soups. “We also strive to spread the awareness of the INN’s mission of ‘addressing the issues of homelessness and hunger by providing food, shelter, and long-term housing and supportive services in a dignified and respectful manner for those who seek our help,” says Ronnie Dragoon, chief executive of the six-unit deli chain. Additionally the company holds two fundraisers annually, ‘A Genuine New York Deli Experience, and Day of Thanks and Giving,’ where 100% of the proceeds are directly donated to INN, as well as an annual barbeque for the employees and volunteers of INN. Throughout the year more than 450 meals are donated, and more than $20,000 is raised.
Rochester, New York
Over the course of more than three decades, Tasteful Connections, the Rochester, NY-based catering company has left an indelible mark on the community it serves. “I had no idea that one of the most important aspects of building a successful business would be developing the ability to touch people’s lives with donations of food, services and money,” says Sandra Holloway, founder and president. “Sharing some of the proceeds from our efforts enhance not only the lives of the recipients, but allows the members of Team Tasteful to know that our work is important and has great value to our paying clients but also those that cannot pay.” Donating countless thousands of dollars over the 30 plus years, Holloway and her 30 employees work predominantly with organizations that feed the hungry, homeless and children. The company delivers weekly meals to the Open Door Mission, the Richards House and Asbury Dining & Caring Center, as well as monthly meals to Ronald McDonald House and the URMC Fitness and Wellness Center.
Williamsville, New York
Since 2008 T.L. Cannon Applebee’s has been helping to make wishes come true for children with life threatening illnesses. In partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation the restaurant group generated several fundraisers including car shows, golf tournaments, outdoor tasting events, a motorcycle run, holiday gift tag, star magnet guest donation campaign, and dress down days. T.L. Cannon, which has raised more than $1,000,000 for Make-A-Wish, channels a large portion of its fundraising efforts to one organization to maximize community impact. “We chose to partner with Make-A-Wish because it was important to us to see tangible results in our communities and to make sure the money raised directly benefitted children and families in our own local neighborhoods,” says a company spokesperson. On average the granting of a wish costs about $5,000, as a result T.L. Cannon has been able to grant about 200 wishes to children in its trading areas. “As a company, we’re extremely proud to see that the dollars we’ve raised have translated into making a real difference in the lives of so many local children.”