Celebrating the beginning of its third year, Newk’s Cares – the ovarian cancer awareness movement spearheaded by fast-casual Newk’s Eatery – has reached a landmark fundraising milestone, having raised more than half a million dollars for the cause to date.
“At the start of Newk’s Cares, none of us could have predicted we would be passing the $500,000 mark two years in and have had the opportunity to engage hundreds of women and their loved ones in a conversation that has life-saving potential,” said Chris Newcomb, Newk’s Eatery’s CEO and Co-Founder.
Created in 2014, Newk’s Cares has since grown from a kitchen table idea to a national campaign in partnership with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) – the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. Committed to calling attention to what has been dubbed this generation’s “silent killer” and raising financial support for ovarian cancer cure and treatment research, Newk’s Cares started with the cancer diagnosis of its co-founder.
“When I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013, I knew very little about this disease – as do so many women worldwide,” said Lori Newcomb, Newk’s Cares Co-Founder and wife of Chris Newcomb. “Right now, there’s no screening test available to detect ovarian cancer early on, and that’s why it’s so important for women to be aware of the warning signs.”
As the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women, only 46 percent of women survive the grim diagnosis beyond five years – compared to an 89 percent survival rate for breast cancer diagnoses. However, with early detection and treatment, this survival rate increases to more than 92 percent. Despite the 200,000 women currently living with ovarian cancer in the U.S., it receives among the least financial support of any form of gynecological or breast cancers.
But Newk’s Cares is looking to change that. Earlier this year, Newk’s Eatery rallied its restaurants system-wide to raise more than $110,000 for the cause in honor of the brand’s 100th restaurant opening. Additionally, at its third annual Ovarian Cycle Jackson spin celebration on September 29, Newk’s Cares united riders to pedal toward a cure, donating $159,395 to OCRFA. These efforts work in concert with Newk’s Cares’ year-round, in-restaurant campaign which donates 10 cents from every water bottle sold to ovarian cancer research.
Based in Jackson, Mississippi, Newk’s Eatery is leading the next generation of fast casual with its culinary-driven menu prepared in Newk’s open-view kitchens, featuring made-from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads, artisan pizzas, hot toasted sandwiches and desserts. Founded in 2004, Newk’s currently operates and franchises more than 100 units in 13 states and is gaining national attention for its accelerated growth and commitment to community. The newest Newk’s restaurants feature a “Generation 2” design, presenting a fresh, on-trend look for the brand while maintaining the company’s signature warmth and open-view kitchen. FastCasual.com named Newk’s among its Top 50 “Movers and Shakers” in 2015 and 2016, while Franchise Times magazine ranked Newk’s among its top “Fast and Serious” franchise brands for the second year in a row, and Technomic listed Newk’s in its Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. Also recently, the brand was named among NRN’s Top 200 and Top 5 Fastest-Growing Chains, along with Restaurant Business’ Top 40 Fast-Casual Chains. For more information, visit Newks.com, join the Roundtable Club or follow Newk’s on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Newk’s Cares is the philanthropic arm of Newk’s Eatery and was established in 2014 by Newk’s Eatery CEO, Chris Newcomb, and his wife Lori Newcomb, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. The robust, year-round campaign features in-store and online educational and fundraising efforts in all its company and franchise-owned restaurants. To date, Newk’s Cares has raised more than $500,000 for the cause with the goal of increasing the number of ovarian cancer survivors by improving the rate of early diagnosis. Visit NewksCares.com for more information.