T.L. Cannon Companies, the franchisee for 61 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants in upstate NY and Connecticut, provided more than $2.42 million in fundraising and in-kind support to community nonprofits and organizations in 2011, a $10,000 increase over the previous year.

Last year, school groups and sports teams flipped flapjacks, other nonprofits dined in at Applebee’s with a percent of the bill benefitting their organizations, and special fundraising campaigns were held for Make-A-Wish Foundation and Special Olympics chapters. In total, T.L. Cannon’s Applebee’s restaurants hosted more than 2,700 fundraisers for groups, schools and nonprofit organizations.

“We take great pride in being able to provide the people and organizations in our community with a space they can use to earn money for their cause,” said Matt Fairbairn, CEO, T.L. Cannon Companies. “Because of their work, our community is a better place to live, work and play. We will continue to help the groups who come to us for support, and look forward to collaborating with even more organizations in the future.”

For the past six years, T.L. Cannon Companies was awarded the National Restaurant Association’s “Good Neighbor Award” for its commitment to providing community-based support and fundraising programs. The company also was recognized nationally within Applebee’s system twice as “Applebee’s Neighbor of the Year” in both 2006 and 2009, based on its grassroots support of the neighborhoods where the company operates.

Applebee’s supported groups, causes, schools and nonprofits in the following ways in 2011:

Flapjack Fundraisers: Offered exclusively to schools, youth sports or youth service organizations, more than 2,300 pancake breakfast fundraisers were held at Applebee’s restaurants in 2011. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Applebee’s restaurant locations welcomed groups for pancakes and bacon. Applebee’s provided the venue, food and beverages for the breakfasts, while the organizations sold tickets and volunteered at the events. Local schools and youth organizations holding Flapjack Fundraisers in 2011 raised more than $1.9 million for their programs.

Law and Orders for Special Olympics: Applebee’s restaurants hosted two events where local law enforcement officers traded in their badges to serve customers. Officers greeted and held doors for guests, served food and beverages and cleared tables. Applebee’s patrons tipped the officers with proceeds benefitting Special Olympics athletes across New York State. More than $25,000 was raised from Law & Orders fundraising events in 2011.

Make-A-Wish Fundraisers: Various fundraisers were held at Applebee’s restaurants to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in New York State and Connecticut. From hosting “wish dinners” to the sale of Make-A-Wish star magnets to decor auctions and other events, more than $168,000 was committed to wish kids.

Dining to Donate: More than 380 nonprofit organizations held Dining to Donate fundraising events at Applebee’s restaurants. Organizations booked their events at and distributed Applebee’s vouchers to their supporters prior to the event. Ten percent of guest checks that accompanied event vouchers were donated back to the charitable nonprofit organizations. Churches, college clubs and other nonprofits took part in Dining to Donate events, raising more than $27,000 in 2011.

Applebee’s also supports education for younger children through the following donation programs:

School Restaurant Tours: Open to elementary grades K-5, schools can bring students in for a tour of Applebee’s. While at the restaurant, students learn about job duties, teamwork and the importance of a clean work environment. Students, chaperones and teachers can enjoy a price-fixed lunch, and all students receive a “Junior Applebuddy” certificate with a coupon for a free kid’s meal for their next visit.

A is for Applebee’s: An achievement award program, teachers can honor their students’ achievements, whether for academics, attitude or effort. Teachers can order reward cards for a free kid’s meal at Applebee’s. In 2011, more than 14,000 reward cards were donated, worth nearly $15,000.

Bookworm Reading Club: Open to students 12 and younger, children can record the books they read on a “Bookworm Club” card. Once a student reads 10 books, they receive a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult meal. Children also receive a detachable bookmark. Requests must be made by local schools or libraries. In 2011, 250,000 kid’s meals were provided to local students, with a value of more than $275,000.

Cool Credit: An achievement program for students 13-18, Cool Credit allows participating schools to reward deserving students with a free appetizer at Applebee’s. Schools can award cards to students based on their own criteria – from leadership and academics to sportsmanship and attendance. In 2011, schools awarded 8,000 award cards to students, for a total value of more than $8,000.

To learn more about how Applebee’s restaurants in New York and Connecticut support and give back to local communities or participate in these programs, visit . To view and subscribe to more news from Applebee’s/T.L. Cannon, visit .

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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