V 24/7

Grateful…for partners like this!

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending an awards dinner celebrating the philanthropy efforts of North Carolina Applebee’s locations, officially known as the AppleGold Annual Champions Dinner. This event honors the top regions, stores and individuals for their efforts in raising money for The V Foundation. Now, have you heard the phrase…think outside of the box? I talked to a few champions that are so far outside the box – they aren’t quite sure where the box is.

Two of the champions, Joey and Jana, work at the Jacksonville, North Carolina Applebee’s. Joey hosted a golf tournament, where he had sponsors for each hole on the course while Jana hosted car washes and took her daughter’s cheerleading squad door-to-door asking for donations.  Yet, what made me do a double take was when they explained how they sold memorabilia off the wall. If you have ever been in an Applebee’s you see local professional, college and high school photos or sports items. The Jacksonville store, about to be renovated, decided that they would see if they could sell their items to benefit The V Foundation…and it worked. This store raised more than $12,500 dollars and was the number one store in the company.

When I spoke with Keith, the general manager, he told me that while the store has incentives for its employees to participate, those incentives are not what drive his employees. “Lots of people here have been touched by cancer- former employees, people in the community, you name it,” said Keith. He continued by talking about how the staff feels that The V Foundation helps make it personal, “We feel a part of it- we feel proud about what The Foundation has done.”

Even though it’s only November, we are excited to see what kind of ideas the stores have for the next March Madness.

What’s the most creative fundraiser you have ever seen? Let us know if you participated in any of the AppleGold fundraisers!