updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
By Zanub Saeed
Rita's Italian Ice announced that it donated $388,237 from the annual Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization set to find a cure for pediatric cancer.
The Paper Lemon Fundraising campaign was set up at the 625 chains of Rita's Italian Ice across the country, where consumers who went to the frozen dessert shops bought a paper lemon for $1 towards ALSF, said a press release issued by Rita's Italian Ice on Thursday.
The check presentation ceremony took place on Wednesday with Hero Families and kids who survived cancer, noted the press release, along with ALSF executive director, and father of the late Alex Scott for whom the charity was set up. The group accepted the check, and were given the chance to learn how to scoop up some of Rita's Italian ices with Rita's Italian Ice chief executive Jonathan Fornaci, said the press release.
"Our Guests' show of support for Alex's mission again this year was truly amazing--every Rita's was just covered in paper lemons," Fornaci stated for the press release. "Several Rita's franchisees held Celebrity Scoop Nights and invited childhood cancer survivors to scoop Italian Ice and raise additional funds for the charity."
The paper lemons purchased to help fund ALSF were personalized by customers who purchased them for $1 throughout the month of June and placed on the "Wall of Hope" constructed at Rita's Italian Ice chains across the country, said the press release. Rita's Italian Ice began its partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in 2006 to help fund child cancer research, and the company even named one of its flavors "Alex's Lemonade" after the young girl who died of cancer years ago, Alexandra "Alex" Scott.
"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," Jay Scott was quoted as stating for the press release. "We appreciate all the donations and thank Rita's Guests, Franchisees and communities they serve."
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