Applebee’s Fundraiser Raises over $175,000 for The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Apple Gold Group Employees and Patrons Team up to Find a Cure

The Apple Gold Group, franchisee of Applebee’s restaurants in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas, is proud to announce that they have raised over $175,000 for The V Foundation for Cancer Research during their fourth annual March Madness fundraiser. From March 3rd through April 5th, employees of the Apple Gold Group in the 51 North Carolina Applebee’s locations asked patrons to donate $1 or more towards The V Foundation and were given personalized paper basketballs that represents their college team of choice to be hung throughout the restaurant.

“We are extremely pleased with all of our employees’ efforts to help raise awareness and we would also like to personally thank all of our guests who donated and participated during this fundraising event,” said Michael Olander, President and CEO of Apple Gold Group. “Fighting cancer is a personal mission for the Apple Gold Group and we are proud to support such a wonderful organization as The V Foundation.”

In addition to selling the $1 paper basketballs, management teams also rallied employees to organize activities to supplement guest donations, like bake sales, dunking booths, yard sales, family festivals and rooftop sit-ins. One restaurant in particular even created a mock jail cell where guests and employees were “locked up” until a specific amount was donated.

The annual March fundraising program was in conjunction with The V Foundation’s annual “Show Your Spirit” campaign focused around the NCAA basketball tournament. The Apple Gold Group’s Applebee’s restaurants located throughout North Carolina encouraged guests to donate $1 or more for The V Foundation and were given a personalized paper basketball that would represent their favorite local college team of choice. Employees then displayed the paper basketballs around the restaurant in hopes to encourage other guests to participate, while provoking a little competition between colleges. This year’s efforts generated over $40,000 more than the previous year.

“Each year it is a pleasure to work with The Apple Gold Group and their outstanding employees,” said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. “With their strong commitment and dedication, their efforts help move us one step closer to finding a cure for this disease!”

About Apple Gold Group

Apple Gold, Inc., one of the original five Applebee’s Franchisees, was founded in 1984 to develop and operate Applebee’s restaurants in North Carolina, opening its first Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Cary, North Carolina in 1985.  A decade later, the company expanded its territory to include Oklahoma and Arkansas, and currently operates 72 restaurants in those three states.  The Apple Gold Group strives to be a recognized leader in both the casual dining industry and in local charitable fundraising.   For more information on Apple Gold Group, please visit

About The V Foundation for Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.  Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $80 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide.  It awards 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs.  The Foundation, which has received seven consecutive top 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Review Committee.  For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit