Dining Out to Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October marks the 27th annual National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   The point of dedicating an entire month to the cause is to educate people on the importance of things like early detection, possible causes and treatments as well as recognize those who have been touched by it.   According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure site it was estimated that in 2011 alone there will be about 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 57,650 new cases of in situ breast cancer in women and about 2,140 new cases of breast cancer in men in the United States alone.

Because of these facts, October has also become a huge month to raise funds for finding a cure for breast cancer with a plethora of events and fundraisers to fit just about anyone’s lifestyle.   While most people might think of participating in the Race for the Cure or even wearing pink to raise awareness and funds, there are also several ways to help the cause while stimulating the economy and experiencing a delicious meal.   All over the country, restaurants are lending a hand in the fight to find a cure for breast cancer.  Whether you live in a big city where several restaurants have joined together for the cause or you’d rather help out at your favorite chain we’ve gathered several ways for you to participate in raising funds to fight back and raise awareness.

Cities Helping the Cause

Washington, D.C.
In the nation’s capital, some of the hottest restaurants have
pledged to Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer.  According to
campaign’s site, “For one day, a week, or the entire month, participating restaurants generously donate a portion of their food and beverage sales so that we can continue our work to save lives.”   There is also another layer to this fundraising campaign which involves local D.C. food bloggers and food writers.  These writing Ambassadors are each adopting a participating restaurant to encourage loyal readers to go to the restaurant they are sponsoring.

New Orleans
Restaurants in New Orleans are carrying the trend of the number 31 (the number of days in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) throughout their campaign.   The NOLA Goes Pink campaign site describes it as, “With 31 days in the month, 31 participating New Orleans restaurants will be offering $31 prix fixe dinners or entrées in support of breast cancer awareness throughout October.”  During the campaign all participating chefs are even going a step further and wearing pink chefs’ coats and
ensuring that the foods on the prix fixe menus are “clean, healthy, non-cancer-
causing, nutrient-dense, plant-based and lean-in-animal-fat offerings.”   Not only will this fundraiser be very pink and very health-minded, it will also donate ten percent of sales at each restaurant to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Chicago
Several eateries in the windy city have also teamed up to collect a minimum of $1 per check (or more if the patron desires) for the Lynn Sage Foundation’s Chicago’s In Good Taste campaign.   A list of participating restaurants is listed on the Lynn Sage Foundation site and reservations for many locations can be booked through the reservation site Open Table.   According to the description on the Open Table site for the campaign, “100% of all proceeds will go directly to breast cancer research at Northwestern University.”

National Chains Helping the Cause

On the Border
At On the Border, they’ve created a Fiesta for the Cure and committed to donate a minimum of $250,000 over the course of the year to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.   The most basic way the restaurant is raising money is to encourage visitors to add a donation to their check.  As a thank you for this donation, diners are given a scratch off card which could reveal free items from On the Border as well as breast health facts.    Another food donation event at On the Border is the Give Back Night.  This designated night (check with your local restaurant for dates) means On the Border will donate 10% of all sales that night to the Komen foundation when customers present a Give Back Night flyer.  Along with these different edible options, there is also the chance to purchase merchandise like Fiesta for the Cure bracelets ($7 with $4 going to Komen) and caps ($12 with $6 going to Komen)

McAlister’s Deli
Building on customer’s love of McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™ and unsweet tea, McAlister’s is partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the Drink for Pink program.  All month, McAlister’s will donate $1 of each Gallon to Go of their tea sold to the foundation.   McAlister’s is dedicated to donating a minimum of $100,000 in addition to sponsoring various Race for the Cure events.

Jersey Mike’s Subs
Back in May, Jersey Mike’s Subs launched the Mike’s Way to a Cure ® six-month long multi-phase fundraiser.   The first phase was an introduction of a special “Pink Ribbon Combo” as well as a branded plastic cup for fountain drinks with 70 cents of each drink going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and.   The second phase provided the opportunity for customers to purchase a Mike’s Way to a Cure ® t- shirt with all proceeds going to Komen.  During this time they also began using special pink paper to wrap subs and pink to go bags to raise even more awareness.   Finally, in the third phase taking place this month, all of the previous items continue to be available and many Jersey Mike’s employees are also participating in Race for the Cure® events.

While the options above are a great way to get involved with both raising awareness and funds for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are many more opportunities to help no matter where you’re from or what you’re interested in.  Check out the Susan G. Komen site or your local chapter for more ways that you or your restaurant can get involved.

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