Rita’s Italian Ice, the nation’s largest Italian Ice concept with over 625 outlets in 19 states, announced today it raised $388,237 following the June conclusion of the company’s nationwide annual Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign and seventh annual partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer. A check presentation took place yesterday with Hero Families and childhood cancer survivors, along with ALSF’s Jay Scott, accepting the donation and learning to scoop Rita’s famous Italian Ice alongside Jonathan Fornaci, chief executive of Rita’s Italian Ice.
The response was overwhelming during the month of June, over 625 Rita’s outlets encouraged Guests to enjoy some fresh lemon Italian Ice and purchase paper lemons for $1 each to raise money for the charity. Each Rita’s Guest was able to personalize his/her lemon and then post it on the store’s “Wall of Hope” to demonstrate the local community’s collective support.
One particular Rita’s outlet in Boyertown, PA hosted its annual hair-shaving event to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Community members attended the event to honor those children who have lost their battle with cancer.
“Our Guests’ show of support for Alex’s mission again this year was truly amazing–every Rita’s was just covered in paper lemons,” said Jonathan Fornaci, Chief Executive Officer of Rita’s. “Several Rita’s franchisees held Celebrity Scoop Nights and invited childhood cancer survivors to scoop Italian Ice and raise additional funds for the charity.”
Since 2006, Rita’s has been a corporate partner of ALSF, implementing a paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for and awareness of childhood cancer causes, especially research into new treatments and cures, which encourages and empowers others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer. In honor of the Foundation’s namesake, the late Alexandra “Alex” Scott, Rita’s renamed its Lemon Italian Ice flavor—“Alex’s Lemonade.” Lemon, one of Rita’s original flavor offerings when the company was established in 1984, is still one of the company’s most popular flavors.
Over the past seven years, Rita’s has collectively raised more than $3.3 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming a leading corporate fundraising partner for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
“We are so grateful to Rita’s Franchise Company for their latest contribution to our goal of finding a cure for all children with cancer,” said Jay Scott, Alex’s father and Executive Director of ALSF. “We appreciate all the donations and thank Rita’s Guests, Franchisees and communities they serve.”
About Rita’s Franchise Company
Rita’s Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, PA, is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 19 states with over 625 units. Rita’s presently has international locations in China, India and the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) and is continuing to grow nationally and internationally through franchise opportunities. The popular chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, made fresh daily with real fruit, available in over sixty flavors, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, layered Gelati as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini® creations. With its motto: “Ice, Custard, Happiness,” Rita’s is dedicated to serving up a big dose of happiness with their freshly made, delicious, custom treats, in a fun-filled atmosphere.
Rita’s was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal’s “Startup Journal” and Ranked #156 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 500 Franchise Rankings” for 2011. For more information about Rita’s please call 1-800-677-RITA or visit www.ritasice.com.
About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). At the age of 4, 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 $55 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 250 research projects nationally. For more information, please visit www.AlexsLemonade.org.