Lee schools raise money for LLS
Elementary, middle and high school students throughout southwest Florida collected more than $38,430 in spare change to support Olive Garden’s 15th-annual Pasta for Pennies program benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. More than $5.3 million was donated by students throughout the nation this year, bringing the total raised for LLS to $47 million since the fundraising program’s inception in 1994.
During a three-week period throughout the school year, more than 45,250 students from 31 schools in southwest Florida committed to collecting pocket change to fill collection jars in their classrooms. The class collecting the most money at each school receives a pasta party delivered to their classroom by their local Olive Garden restaurant.
“The dedication of these students, their parents, teachers and administrators is nothing short of remarkable,” said Dave Pickens, president of Olive Garden, in a prepared statement. “Together, through their service every year, they continue to give support, hope and encouragement to patients and their families across the country.”
The top fundraising schools in southwest Florida included:
* Fort Myers High School with $5,673;
* North Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers with $2,700; and
* The Sanibel School with $2,253.
“Every penny raised through Olive Garden’s Pasta for Pennies program brings us one step closer to finding a cure for blood cancers,” said Joanne Davis, executive director of the LLS Southern Florida Chapter, in a prepared statement. “We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who joined together to support our efforts. These results are extraordinary.”
The LLS Southern Florida Chapter is recruiting schools in their areas to participate in the 2010 Olive Garden Pasta for Pennies program. To learn more about how your school can take part in this grassroots effort, call (954) 744-5313 or visit www.LLS.org .
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with 695 restaurants, more than 87,000 employees and $3.3 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI), the world’s largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant company. For more information, visit Olive Garden’s Web site at www.olivegarden.com.