---- — Two restaurant chains are supporting campaigns for better health.
Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC is raising money for Easter Seals and Olive Garden is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Friendly’s has launched its 33rd annual promotion for Easter Seals stores in New Hampshire. The April fundraiser will benefit Easter Seals Camp Friendly’s programs up and down the East Coast.
This year’s campaign will feature two new elements. For a $2 donation to Easter Seals, kids will receive their kids meal served on a Friendly’s frisbee and for a $1 donation, guests can get a discount card good for 10 percent off all purchases through May 18. The donations will go to Easter Seals Camp Friendly’s. The campaign runs through April 27.
Funds raised will support Easter Seals Camp Friendly’s programs essential to building a sense of independence and accomplishment for thousands of children annually. Easter Seals Camp Friendly’s provides an opportunity for kids with disabilities to be included in regular camp activities like, boating and canoeing, swimming, archery, ropes courses, horseback riding, hiking, basketball and fishing.
The campaign has raised more than $28 million to date to benefit Easter Seals Camp Friendly’s program locations across the country.
More than 60,000 students throughout Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are helping make a difference by collecting spare change to kick off the 20th annual Pasta for Pennies Program presented by Olive Garden and benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Last year, more than 58,600 students in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire raised $186,552 to support LLS. In 2013, students nationwide collected $10 million, bringing the total amount collected since the program’s inception to more than $80 million.
Spare change raised through Pasta for Pennies helps support the LLS mission to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients and improve the quality of life for patients and their loved ones.
During a three-week period in the school year, students in first through 12th grades from more than 150 schools throughout Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire will participate in Pasta for Pennies by filling collection jars and boxes in their classrooms with spare change. The top fundraising class at each participating school will receive a pasta party from their local Olive Garden restaurant.
“The commitment that these students have to the Pasta for Pennies program is outstanding,” said Sharon Klein, executive director for the LLS Massachusetts Chapter. “It is through their efforts and generous donations that we continue to advance our goal: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”
To help kick off Pasta for Pennies, local Olive Garden restaurants host lunches for representatives from participating schools. Olive Garden also provides marketing support and materials for 43 participating LLS chapters, including the Massachusetts Chapter.
“The spare change that these students collect makes a huge difference in so many lives,” said Shannon Garcia, Olive Garden senior vice president of operations. “With the passionate participation of all the students, teachers and parents, we are confident that Pasta for Pennies will have another successful year supporting LLS and its mission.”