Interactive giving allows Chili's Grill & Bar guests to share hope during Create-A-Pepper campaign benefiting St. Jude

Eighth annual campaign introduces “Pass-A-Pepper for Hope” program, giving guests the power to raise funds for the pediatric cancer hospital


Memphis, Tennessee  (September 1, 2011)—Chili’s® Grill & Bar is joining St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in their fight to save the lives of children worldwide through the casual dining brand’s Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. Now through Sept. 28, during National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Chili’s guests can help the cause by donating at participating restaurants nationwide and online. Donations made during Create-A-Pepper benefit the St. Jude mission of finding cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.

To date, the Create-A-Pepper campaign has helped Chili’s donate more than $35 million, each year getting closer to the brand’s 10-year goal to donate $50 million to the hospital. Once completed, this extraordinary donation will be the largest donation from a single-partner campaign in St. Jude history.

Create-A-Pepper kicks off this month with many of the classic elements introduced in years past –signature chili pepper coloring sheets in restaurants, online donations, Donate Profits Day and more – but this year, Chili’s is introducing a new element: “Pass-A-Pepper for Hope.”

The “Pass-A-Pepper for Hope” program encourages guests to spread the word about the campaign to their friends while giving them a feel-good way to earn free food from Chili’s. Chili’s Email Club members will receive a message with a unique trackable link that can be forwarded to friends. Guests will be rewarded with prizes such as free Chips & Salsa, Chips & Queso and other appetizer or dessert favorites, as more people donate through their unique link. If not a Chili’s Email Club member, guests can obtain their own personal link by logging on to www.createapepper.com.

“We always look forward to September because of the tremendous amount of awareness and funds that are raised for St. Jude through the Create-A-Pepper campaign,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “Thanks to friends like Chili’s Grill & Bar, families of children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases never pay St. Jude for treatment. We greatly appreciate Chili’s team members and guests for their contributions to finding cures and saving children in communities everywhere.”  

“Chili’s passion is making people feel special, and I can’t think of a better way to fulfill that than supporting the lifesaving work of St. Jude during our Create-A-Pepper campaign every September,” said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. “Giving back is in our DNA and through initiatives like ‘Pass-A-Pepper,’ we hope to build on our 10-year, $50 million commitment to the hospital.”

Guests can participate in the Create-A-Pepper campaign in the following ways:

Again, this year Chili’s is utilizing email, Facebook and Twitter to provide guests more ways to donate and stay informed during the Create-A-Pepper campaign. Guests can:

To learn more or make an online donation to the campaign, visit www.createapepper.com.

 

About St. Jude
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tennessee, 
St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. 
St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. 
St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.

About Chili's
Chili's Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili's offers a fun, energetic atmosphere and a distinct, fresh mix of grilled American favorites at more than 1,500 locations in 31 countries and two territories. Brinker’s wholly-owned restaurant brands include Chili's® Grill & Bar, and Maggiano's Little Italy®. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill®. Follow news about Chili’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chilis, @Chilis on Twitter and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/chilis. For more information, please visit www.chilis.com.

About Create-A-Pepper
Each September during National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Chili’s® Grill & Bar hosts a nationwide fundraiser for longtime charitable partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in an effort to raise $50 million in 10 years to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. Throughout the Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign, guests at locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico can help support the lifesaving work of St. Jude through several in-restaurant, digital and interactive promotions. For additional information about the campaign, please visit www.createapepper.com.  

*at least 45 percent of the purchase price of each slap band and T-shirt sold will be donated to 
St. Jude.

Editor’s note: Electronic press kit containing downloadable, high-res images and videos, patients’ stories, Chili’s and all campaign-related press materials can be found at www.multivu.com/mnr/51355-chili-s-create-a-pepper-for-st-jude.