2016 Award Winners

2016 Franchising Gives Back Awards Ceremony

Click to see 2015 Award Winners.

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Spirit of Franchising Award

Edible Arrangements / Gold Winner

Edible Arrangements’ Edible Cares program provides emergency funds to employees in times of crisis, and supports nonprofit organizations at both at the corporate level and the franchisee level. Edible Arrangements also makes annual donations to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Society Canada during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, in 2013, Edible Arrangements founder and CEO Tariq Farid established the Tariq Farid Foundation to support causes both at home and around the world. The Foundation’s contributions total almost $1 million annually, and have benefited dozens of programs, including hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, food pantries, and organizations addressing childhood cancer and assisting refugees. Visit site.

Citrin Cooperman / Silver Winner

Each year, Citrin Cooperman holds a day of service where firm employees break off into teams to provide time, resources and dollars to give back in their local communities. In June 2016, the company spent the day giving back to their communities by donating their time to local organizations. As part of the day of giving back, employees were broken into teams and participated in a variety of charitable activities, including distributing food and basic necessities to needy families; serving meals and renovating homes; volunteering at food pantries and distribution centers; assisting in classroom work with elementary and high school students; and visiting senior centers and a women’s shelter. Visit site.

Express Employment Professionals / Silver Winner

Brand It Blue Day allows franchisees to customize an event to support their local food bank, food pantry or other nonprofit organization that provides food services to those in need in their community. Each Express Employee Professionals franchise makes this event their own, partnering with a variety of nonprofit organizations to support their community while inviting other local businesses, including current and prospective clients, to join them in this effort. Brand It Blue Day not only provides franchisees with an opportunity to give back to their community, but also demonstrates to the public the heart and motivation of our company and helps share the story of the nonprofit organization. In the past four years, franchisees have partnered with hundreds of local businesses to collect donations for their local food banks and pantries totaling more than 300,000 meals provided to those in need. Along with this collection, offices have taken the time to volunteer and serve with the nonprofit organization they partnered with for the food drive, organizing more than 2,500 volunteers to fight hunger in North America. Visit site.

Dunkin’ Brands Franchisee Ron Portnoy / Silver Winner

Ronnie Portnoy operates 27 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in 12 different neighborhoods and towns in New York. He is extremely active with the local schools, public libraries, and Little League Sport teams in all of these communities hosting a variety of events. Ronnie takes part in leading a multitude of events and programs on behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, including: Annual Long Island fundraising gala – a night complete with an elaborate cocktail hour, followed by dinner and entertainment as well as live and silent auctions. Ron leads the Event Steering Committee, which is comprised of dedicated franchisees and corporate field employees. Since its inception in 2012, the event has raised nearly $750,000. For the last few years, Ron has rallied support from the local franchise community to include the Henry Viscardi School as one of the local charities that are invited to our Annual Long Island fundraising gala. This Viscardi Center does fabulous work educating young adult students with various several disabilities, both mental and physical. Ron has created events for groups of students where they have the chance to make donuts, get to know the Dunkin’ Donuts business and bring back treats to the younger kids at school. All 27 of Ron’s restaurants have been involved in the Paper-Icon Special Olympics charity program held in Long Island, which raised over $300,000. Most recently, Ron was recognized as the Dunkin’ Donuts Philanthropist of the Year – one of the company’s highest distinctions for his leadership in supporting the efforts of The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation. Visit site.

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Enduring Impact Award

Auntie Anne’s / Gold Winner

Since establishing a partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in September 2011, Auntie Anne’s has raised more than $2.4 million for the organization through in-store fundraising campaigns, coin canister donations, local event collaboration, and the company’s annual C.A.R.E.S. Golf Tournament. Each summer, guests can visit Auntie Anne’s to purchase a pretzel ribbon paper icon for $1 and show their support in the fight to end childhood cancer. In appreciation of the donation, guests receive a coupon for $1 off their next purchase. Auntie Anne’s donations have directly funded more than 48,000 hours of childhood cancer research and have helped ALSF fund more than 550 cutting-edge childhood cancer research projects, create a travel program to help support families of children receiving treatment, and develop resources to help people everywhere affected by childhood cancer. Visit site.

Rainbow International of Columbia Franchisee Reed Mattingly / Silver Winner

The Rainbow International Charity Golf Classic, sponsored by the Sparkle Caps Project, benefits young, local mothers battling late-stage cancer. Since its inception, the tournament has continually grown, and today has a committee of 21 people that includes two of the past recipients, which has provided a new perspective on the significance and importance of the event. This tournament has become a successful tradition because of the heartfelt support from local businesses and individuals who share the common goal of supporting local young mothers and their families. The goal is to provide support to these women and their families, so they can focus on their battles more and financial issues less. The 6th Annual Rainbow International Charity Golf Classic was held in May 2016, and benefitted three young mothers and their families. Over the past six years, the Rainbow Charity Golf Classic has benefitted 12 families from the Columbia, South Carolina community and raised more than $180,000 in net proceeds. Although the financial support is amazing, it is the overwhelming emotional support from everyone involved that is even more meaningful. Visit site.

Arby’s / Silver Winner

Since the launch of Arby’s partnership with Share Our Strength in 2011 and involvement in the non-profit’s No Kid Hungry campaign, Arby’s has led the charge within the restaurant industry to combat childhood hunger in America. The cornerstone of Arby’s efforts with the No Kid Hungry campaign comes during several weeks each Fall when restaurants across the country join forces to host an in-restaurant donation campaign supporting No Kid Hungry.

Additionally, Arby’s has become a founding sponsor of the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices, a center dedicated to crafting the best research, analysis and strategies around the fight to end childhood hunger. With Arby’s support, the Center developed the first-ever comprehensive guide to ending childhood hunger. Developed in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting, the No Kid Hungry Playbook is a powerful online resource available to any community needing a roadmap for ending childhood hunger. The Center also has convened hundreds of the top local organizations, political leaders and state agencies from across the nation at its annual Summer Meals Summits to solve the challenge of feeding school-aged kids during summer months. Visit site.

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Support Our Veterans Award

Ampex Brands / Gold Winner

For the last four years, Ampex Brands (a franchisee group that owns several Long John Silver’s and KFC restaurants) has sponsored the Snowball Express Children of Fallen Military Annual Gathering, bringing together children from across the nation who have lost a military parent since 9/11, with the goal of connecting children and widows to others who are experiencing the identical tragedy in their life. It is now the largest gathering of children and families of fallen military in the world. Families who attend realize that they are not alone, and because of the tremendous demonstration of community support, they understand that their sacrifices are not forgotten and that the supreme sacrifice of their hero will never be forgotten. Visit site.

Marriott International / Silver Winner

Marriott International has been proud to support the Wounded Warriors Family Support “High Five Tour” for the past three years. The WWFS’ High Five Tour is a 48-state road trip across America honoring our country’s veterans and military families. (This year’s tour started at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Leavenworth on Thursday, May 26th and will conclude in Escondido, CA on Saturday, October 22). All funds (typically $1 million annual) go directly to support its mission of improving their quality of life, such as the purchase of mobility-equipped vehicles, to combat wounded veterans and their families. Marriott’s participation was initiated by one of its leading franchise companies, True North Hotel Group. A sample of the impact of charitable activity includes: $14,000 in of Marriott gift cards to volunteer drivers on the tour, hosted at over 55 hotels with many assisting and/or rallying by way of contributions, photos, car signatures, and/or general awareness for this cause, and at least $5,000 in reduced room rates from Marriott’s franchisees and owners. Marriott and True North Hotel Group donated over 50 hours to help reserve accommodations and coordinate hotel rallies throughout the country including at Marriott’s HQ. Visit site.

Sports Clips / Silver Winner

Sports Clips is the primary sponsor for the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring seniors and U.S. military veterans. Through donations, the foundation provides once-in-a-lifetime Dream Flights to veterans, many of whom served during World War II and the Korean conflict, in a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train many military aviators in the late 1930’s and 40’s. In addition to monetary donations Sports Clips also donates time to support Dream Flights, which take place almost every week in cities nationwide. The company’s franchisees and team members volunteer by helping veterans enter and exit the aircraft; providing refreshments and seating for veterans; and assisting with other activities. Sports Clips’ communications team has also supported the growth of the organization by assisting with media outreach initiatives that have increased awareness of its programs. Visit site.

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The Newcomer Award

AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. / Gold Winner

Arizona-based AAMCO franchise owner Gary Denton is the founder of the Wheels of Freedom Project, a not-for-profit entity dedicated to providing electric wheelchairs to disabled veterans in the community and enhancing their quality of life. The Wheels of Freedom Project began when Denton found a powered wheelchair in disrepair at the existing AAMCO service center he had purchased in July 2015. Gary Denton’s first refurbished chair was presented to Robert Martens, a disabled veteran who is in need of a kidney and pancreas transplant and could only walk a few feet at a time. Denton was so moved by the experience that he chose to create the Wheels of Freedom Project the very next day, with an effort to create awareness of the needs and abilities of Veterans with physical disabilities and to promote the joy of giving. Visit site.

Wienerschnitzel / Silver Winner

Hot Dogs For Homeless (HD4H) is a month-long philanthropic journey with a mission to feed the homeless and empower youth to better their communities. For the past two years, Wienerschnitzel has partnered with Skate For Change, a non-profit youth-focused organization that encourages students to make a change, traveling across the Southwest while giving back to those in need. For 30 days straight, a Wienerschnitzel-wrapped RV, lovingly declared the Wienerbago, visits cities with heavy homeless populations to lift spirits and provide hot meals. At each destination, the crew hands out Wienerschnitzel hot dogs and provides socks, hats, warm clothes, hygiene kits, and other necessities to those who need it most. Along with feeding the homeless, the tour also stops at high schools along the way to support Smith’s motivational speaking engagements with the goal to inspire students. Since the first annual Hot Dogs For Homeless Tour, which took place in 2015, Wienerschnitzel has helped raise nearly $270,000 for Skate For Change. Over the past two years, the Hot Dogs for Homeless Tour has traveled 12,000 miles across 25 cities, and handed out more than 80,000 Wienerschnitzel hot dogs. The crew visited shelters and areas with heavy homeless populations, where they handed out over 20,000 pairs of socks and other necessities to those who needed it most. The tour has stopped at 34 schools along the way, where the Hot Dogs for Homeless crew has addressed close to 85,000 students. Visit site.

Pinot’s Palette / Silver Winner

Painting It Forward is a national event put in place by Pinot’s Palette. Last year, the event took place in the form of a Walk/Run, as well as a special painting class in which a portion of proceeds were donated to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The goal in 2015 is to contribute $50,000 to the hospital with 115 studios participating. $34,537.52 was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the work of 77 Pinot’s Palette paint and sip studios. Visit site.

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Innovation and Impact Award

Benetrends Financial / Gold Winner

The Little Rock Foundation for the Blind (TLRF) was established in 1997 after Rocco Fiorentino, Jr. was born four months premature and blind. After months of researching, there seemed to be very little information for parents who have blind children and a real lack of resources to support parents and their families. The Fiorentinos founded The Little Rock Foundation (TLRF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children who are blind or visually impaired. For the past 15 years, The Little Rock Foundation has hosted an annual summer camp for visually impaired and blind children in honor of their son. The camp is offered for free to all visually impaired and blind children, ages 7-16, who are affiliated with a state agency for the visually impaired or blind. To date, over 600 campers have enjoyed the camp’s offerings at Camp Little Rock. Visit site.

Newk’s Eatery / Silver Winner

In early 2013, Newk’s Eatery co-founder and CEO Chris Newcomb and his wife, Lori, were blindsided and heartbroken when she was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer — a disease with an alarmingly low survival rate. In the face of Lori’s illness, this growing family of franchisees and support staff teamed up to support her return to health, forming a bold, new company-wide endeavor called Newk’s Cares. Named after the heart of the brand, Newk’s Cares is a campaign designed to expose ovarian cancer as a silent killer, educate guests about early detection, rally communities around the cause and raise money for research for a cure through the charitable efforts of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA).

Newk’s launched a year-round, in-store and online ovarian cancer education campaign in all of its company and franchise-owned restaurants. Campaign collateral includes point-of-purchase educational materials, such as a hand-held card featuring Lori’s story and warning signs of the disease to promote early detection. Newk’s maintains a dedicated Newk’s Cares website and social media campaign, viral videos, online educational symptoms quizzes, traditional media outreach and so much more. In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month every September, Newk’s goes teal — the color adopted by the global ovarian cancer awareness movement — switching out Newk’s signature black cups for teal ones. The company also introduced Newk’s Cares water bottles, where 10 cents from every water bottle sold year-round is donated to OCRFA.

One hundred percent of the funds raised through Newk’s Cares goes to OCRFA to advance private research at major medical institutions nationwide which are working to develop innovative early detection strategies, identify better ovarian cancer treatment methods, advance prevention tactics and ultimately find a cure. Visit site.

Painting with a Twist / Silver Winner

Painting with a Twist was founded by two mothers from New Orleans, Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney, who met while volunteering at their children’s school and were inspired to provide their community with a way to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As part of their ongoing commitment to give back to local communities and make a difference in the lives of those in need, the brand sponsors monthly fundraising events known as Painting with a Purpose, which help various organizations raise funds in communities nationwide that Painting with a Twist serves. The ultimate mission of Painting with a Purpose is to grant artists funds to further their education and help with expenses due to illness or family crises. The program has been active for nine years and to date has donated more than $2 million to non-profit organizations across the country, and in 2015 alone raised more than $817,000 for local charities. Visit site.

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