On Feb. 19, three area Eat 'n Park restaurants joined forces to present a check for $15,795 to Akron Children's Hospital Boardman Campus. The funds came from the Caring for Kids Campaign and will go towards helping children who need care and services, but can't afford it.
Of the total amount of the check, $6,638 was raised at the Austintown Eat 'n Park. General manager Rick Zeigler said it came from a variety of events.
''We sold raffle tickets for a new vehicle, sold Smiley merchandise, and held a large Chinese auction at the store,'' he said.
Photos By J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
On Feb. 19, representatives from Eat 'n Park's in its Warren, Austintown, and Boardman locations met in Austintown to deliver a check for $15,795 to Akron Children's Hospital, Boardman Campus. The funds were raised during the 'Caring for Kids Campaign.' Pictured are ACH development coordinator Jamie Petrus, Austintown Eat 'n Park general manager Rick Zeigler, shift manager Deanna Rulong, chef supervisor Tina Lambe, and Eat 'n Park corporate PR coordinator Becky McArdle along with Smiley, portrayed by Caitlin Irion.
The Chinese auction featured 14 gift baskets donated from local merchants who wanted to help in the Eat n Park five-week campaign.
On top of that, the Austintown employees got together and held a spaghetti dinner and raffle at First Christian Assembly Church on Cardinal Drive in Youngstown.
''That was an event the employees did by themselves,'' Zeigler said.
Zeigler has been with Eat 'n Park for 18 years and said every year the corporation has given back to the community by helping children in need through its Caring for Kids Campaign.
The Caring for Kids Campaign is a five-week fundraising effort, which was held during this past holiday season at all Mahoning Valley area Eat 'n Park restaurants. Over the past five years, more than $65,000 has been raised for Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley through the campaign.
A grand total of $403,256 for children's hospitals and charities across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia was raised during this year's campaign, which is in its 35th year. Since it began in 1979, Eat 'n Park restaurants have raised more than $8.5 million in the campaigns.
ACHDirector of Development Joanna Stock said, ''We are grateful to the Eat 'n Park staff and their customers for all their hard work.'' She said the funds will be used for the many children locally who need services and medical care, but can't afford it.
''The most important aspect of the campaign is that so many families will now be receiving the help that they need,'' said Trina DeMarco, Director of Corporate Giving and Community Partnerships, Eat 'n Park Hospitality Group. ''We are thrilled with how much we will be able to give back to the community this year, thanks to the generosity of Eat 'n Park's guests, team members, and partners.''
For the fourth consecutive year, the Neighborhood Ford Store has partnered with Eat 'n Park to contribute a brand new Ford to be raffled with the proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets donated to the campaign. Austintown, Boardman and Warren Eat 'n Parks helped with selling the raffle tickets, which numbered more than 56,000 and raised a total of $113,000. George Seckar, a lucky Eat 'n Park guest from Lower Burrell, Pa., won the 2014 Ford Fusion from this year's raffle,
''The Neighborhood Ford Store is such an impactful and integral part of the campaign's success,'' said DeMarco. ''We are so appreciative of their support and our strong partnership with them.''
The Neighborhood Ford Store is comprised of 81 Ford dealers in southwest Pennsylvania, southeast Ohio, and the panhandles of Maryland and West Virginia.