Black Bear Diner and Make-a-Wish® Alliance Results in 100 Wishes… and Counting
“Black Bear Diner has been a phenomenal supporter of and fundraiser for our organization,” said Make-A-Wish president and CEO, David Williams. “They’ve demonstrated a relentless commitment franchise-wide to rally their loyal customers and raise money for the wish kids we serve. We appreciate the Black Bear Diner customers who participate, and also applaud the corporate effort to get everybody involved to help us change the lives of 100 children.”
The Make-A-Wish sponsorship idea was sparked by a Black Bear Diner franchisee. What started out as a local franchisee wanting to make a difference morphed into a company-wide, month-long initiative that engages 61 restaurants across the western United States to raise money for Make-A-Wish during the month of December.
“Our entire corporate team, franchisees, and customers get very excited about this fundraiser,” said George Sammut, the local franchisee who suggested the relationship with Make-A-Wish. “When I approached corporate and they said yes, I knew the Black Bear Diner family would get behind it! If there’s one thing about the Black Bear Diner family, our hearts will always be bigger than even our biggest serving.”
The 2013 “Save Room For A Wish” promotion reached a new fundraising high of $202,200.86, including an anonymous donation of $20,000 from a customer in Salinas, CA. It also included 31 wish parties for children being granted wishes. A wish kid from Redding, CA was also the face of the in-store campaign for Black Bear Diner.
“This is as feel-good as it gets,” said Bob Manley, co-founder of Black Bear Diner. “We’ve seen the faces and smiles of young kids being granted their wish or being part of the whole experience, and that pure moment of joy is worth every single penny. We’re humbled to be a supporter of Make-A-Wish and are just grateful that we can contribute in any way possible.”
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit wish.org to learn more.