Eat’n Park Hospitality Group team members and guests have raised a record total of $421,645 for children’s hospitals and charities across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia during the company’s 34th annual Caring for Kids Campaign.
The grand total is an increase of more than 2 percent over the 2011 campaign and is the highest total ever raised in the history of the Caring for Kids Campaign, exceeding the previous record set in 2011 by more than $8,200. A major contribution to the campaign’s total was $154,000 generated by this year’s in-store Ford raffle, shattering previous records of money raised and tickets sold for this fundraiser.
Since its inception in 1979, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s Caring for Kids Campaign has raised more than $8 million for children’s hospitals located throughout its service area, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC locally. Money collected from the campaign stays in the communities where it was donated, making it a truly local and community-driven fundraiser.
This year’s $336,492 contribution to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC brings Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s lifetime contribution to more than $7 million.
“We’re thrilled with the success of this year’s campaign because it means so many families will receive the help they need,” says Trina DeMarco, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s director of corporate giving and community partnerships. “We extend our sincerest gratitude to Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s generous guests, team members and partners who helped us exceed our fundraising goal.
For the third consecutive year, the Neighborhood Ford Store donated a vehicle as the grand prize for Eat’n Park’s in-store raffle, with all proceeds benefiting the Caring for Kids campaign. The car raffle also set new records for both the amount of money raised and the number of tickets sold.
The $154,000 generated from this year’s Ford raffle is donated directly to the Caring for Kids Campaign. Thanks to the generosity of the Neighborhood Ford Store, a lucky Eat’n Park guest—Brendan Dawson from Cheswick—won a 2013 Ford Escape SE 4WD.
Dawson’s winning ticket was drawn from more than 77,000 tickets that were purchased to benefit the campaign. A patient at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC selected the winning ticket on Dec. 19.
“Our strong partnership with The Neighborhood Ford Store is a large part of the success of our campaign,” says DeMarco. “We are so appreciative of their support.” The Neighborhood Ford Store is comprised of 81 Ford dealers in southwest Pennsylvania, southeast Ohio, and the panhandles of Maryland and West Virginia.
A new addition this year to the Caring for Kids Campaign was a line of merchandise to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Eat’n Park’s beloved Christmas Star, with products including T-shirts, mugs, and magnets. Ten percent of all sales from the Christmas Star merchandise benefitted the Caring for Kids campaign, contributing more than $6,000 to the total amount raised.
In addition to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 12 other hospitals across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia benefit from the initiative, including Akron Children’s Hospital of the Mahoning Valley, Children’s Medical Center of Akron, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Columbus Children’s Hospital Foundation, DuBois Regional Medical Center, the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Geisinger Health System, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent Health System, University of Virginia Children’s Hospital and West Virginia University Children’s Hospital.