When Lori Newcomb first visited her doctor for abdominal pain, the last thing she expected to walk out with was a late-stage ovarian cancer diagnosis. Blindsided and heartbroken by a type of cancer very few recognize or understand, Lori and her husband Chris, Co-founder and CEO of Newk’s Eatery, saw an opportunity to save women’s lives through their rapidly expanding restaurant brand. The couple started Newk’s Cares —a year-round ovarian cancer awareness movement—just two years ago which has since raised nearly $400,000 for ovarian cancer research.
Looking to transform small coin into big change in celebration of their centennial restaurant opening, Newk’s Eatery this past month called its guests to action, uniting partners and patrons across the brand’s 100 restaurants to raise more than $110,000 to fund research for a cure. Through in-store and online donations, Newk’s guests rallied behind the cause, surpassing the $100,000 goal and funding critical research to put an end to ovarian cancer.
“It’s entirely through Newk’s guests, franchisees and restaurant teams that we are able to make this stand against a disease that claims thousands of women’s lives each year,” said Lori Newcomb, Newk’s Cares Co-Founder. “It’s a cause that deserves a cure, and we are proud to be a part of a community with such heart and hospitality who believes in making this vision happen.”
All funds raised will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) — the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. Newk’s donations will be used to fund the best and brightest researchers in the ovarian cancer field who are working to develop innovative strategies for early detection, explore genetics that increase risk, research the underlying molecular biology of the disease, identify better treatments and analyze how and why ovarian cancer spreads.
“For two years now, Newk’s Eatery’s guests and team members have been incredible partners in the fight against ovarian cancer,” said Audra Moran, President and CEO, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance. “Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest diseases facing women today, and the generosity of the Newk’s Eatery family is pivotal in supporting life-saving research that will lead to more effective identification, treatment, prevention and ultimately a cure for this insidious disease.”
Later this year, Newk’s will be hosting three additional fundraisers, while also providing educational materials in-house and online at NewksCares.com and on Facebook to raise greater awareness of what has been dubbed this generation’s “silent killer.”
Based in Jackson, Miss., 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 company’s newest restaurants feature a “Generation 2” design, presenting a fresh, on-trend look for the brand while maintaining Newk’s signature warmth and open-view kitchen. FastCasual.com has named Newk’s one of its top 20 “Movers and Shakers,” while Franchise Times magazine ranked Newk’s among its top Fast and Serious franchise brands and Technomic listed Newk’s among its top 50 U.S. fast-casual chains. The brand was also recently named among “The Next 20” by Nation’s Restaurant News and one of QSR magazine’s “Best Franchise Deals.” For more information, visit Newks.com, join the Roundtable Club or follow Newk’s on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) is the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research, while supporting women and their families before, during and after diagnosis. As the voice for ovarian cancer, OCRFA advances private research, advocates for increased federal research and awareness and furthers policies that give women access to the services they need. The organization has invested more than $70 million in private ovarian cancer research and helped to secure more than $2.2 billion federal dollars dedicated to ovarian cancer research and awareness. OCRFA engages the survivor community with programs like “Woman to Woman,” pairing gynecologic cancer patients with gynecologic cancer survivors, and “Survivors Teaching Students®: Saving Women’s Lives,” an educational program connecting ovarian cancer survivors with health professional students to present their unique stories about the disease. Visit OCRFA.org to learn more.