Food Service & Agriculture, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Retail

Restaurant company raises $109K for children’s hospital

February 9, 2016
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Meritage Hospitality Group Wendy's
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A group of fast-food restaurants in the region have raised $109,375 for a local children’s hospital.

Wendy’s of Michigan, which is owned and operated by Grand Rapids-based Meritage Hospitality Group, raised the funds for Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital during the winter holiday season.

The donation from the group’s “Change a Child’s Life” campaign, which included 47 West Michigan Wendy’s restaurants, will go toward the Peter and Joan Secchia CarePartners Program at the hospital.

“Our Wendy’s managers and teammates worked together to reach their goal and make this the most successful campaign yet,” said Jeremy Wood, area director, Wendy’s of Michigan.

The campaign

The “Change a Child’s Life” campaign has been an annual program at West Michigan Wendy’s restaurants for 20 years and has raised more than $3 million to support local organizations.

From Nov. 16 to Dec. 31, participating restaurants asked guests to round up their bills by 50 cents to donate to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. In return, they were given a die-cut print to display their name on the restaurant’s walls and coupons to use on their next visit.

Several restaurants held their own initiatives to contribute to the fundraising, including a penny war at the Wendy’s on Lake Michigan Drive in Walker and a can-collection drive at the Wendy’s on West River Drive in Comstock Park.

Roughly 60,000 customers donated during the campaign by rounding up their bills by 50 cents or more.

The 2015 campaign raised $9,000 more than last year’s total.

Meritage director of marketing Lindsay Stone said the company sends “a huge thank you” to the communities it serves for “the continuous support this program receives.”

“It’s always wonderful to see the support we receive from the West Michigan community,” Stone said.

Meritage Hospitality Group

Meritage Hospitality Group owns and operates more than 167 restaurants across seven states and employs more than 5,100 people.

Meritage comprises of four restaurant concepts: Wendy’s, Twisted Rooster, Crooked Goose and Freighters Eatery and Taproom.

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