Camp Sunshine presented its first-ever Ray of Light Award for outstanding support of the charity, to Tropical Smoothie Café. Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, accepted the award on behalf of the brand. Over the past ten years, the better-for-you fast-casual restaurant brand has successfully raised and donated more than $3.7 million to send families of children with life- threatening illnesses to the one-of-a-kind family retreat located in Casco, Maine. Camp Sunshine surprised Rotondo with the presentation at an annual golf tournament fundraiser in Richmond, VA hosted by Tom Cabble and Gemini and Bhupi Patel, some of Tropical Smoothie Café’s franchisees’ most ardent supporters of the program.
“No other organization has given us more support than Tropical Smoothie Café,” said Anna Gould, Founder and Board Chair of Camp Sunshine. “The awareness they bring to our program is invaluable, as they’re not only fundraising, they’re making sure customers know that Camp Sunshine’s resources are available to eligible families in their area. We are so incredibly fortunate to have such a committed and engaged partner on our side.” Last year, Camp Sunshine hosted an estimated 650 families from 42 states and 12 countries completely free of charge.
“I am incredibly humbled to accept the Ray of Light award on behalf of Tropical Smoothie Café,” said Rotondo, “You need only spend a few minutes with the Camp Sunshine staff, its volunteers, campers, or its families to recognize that they are the bright spots in our world. Anything we can do to help foster their well-being is a privilege for us.”
Tropical Smoothie Café has already begun its fundraising efforts for this year, with a number of initiatives that motivate guests to give whatever donations they can. The centerpiece of the drive is the brand’s own holiday created to drive awareness and raise funds for Camp Sunshine, National Flip Flop Day. On this day, guests are invited to wear flip-flops in café for a free Jetty Punch smoothie from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM on Friday, June 17th and have the option to donate $1 or more to Camp Sunshine. Last year’s National Flip Flop Day raised one million dollars for Camp Sunshine.
Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness. Camp Sunshine is the only program in the nation offered year-round with the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model. The program is free of charge to families and includes on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement groups are also offered for families who have experienced the death of a child from a supported illness. Since its inception, Camp Sunshine has offered comfort, hope and support to over 48,900 family members from 49 states and 27 countries. For more information, visit the website at www.campsunshine.org or call (207) 655-3800.
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Café is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 486 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Café serves smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked in Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500, Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2015 Top 200, number five in the 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, and CEO Mike Rotondo in 2016 Fast Casual Top 25 Executives. For more information about National Flip Flop Day, visit www.TropicalSmoothie.com/funraising.com