Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks & Recognizing Charity

We all know that Thanksgiving in America originated from a combination of European and Native American traditions. The Europeans held festivals celebrating their safe voyages and gave thanks to a bountiful harvest just as Native Americans did. And when the Pilgrims didn’t have enough food for all the colonists, the Native Americans shared their harvest and taught them how to fish.

This tradition of sharing and helping others has continued over the years – and not just on Thanksgiving Day, this philanthropy is seen every day of the year. Nine out of every 10 restaurants participate in charitable activities. We see their contributions all around us - from hosting fundraising events benefitting children’s hospitals to feeding troops returning home from oversees duty – this humanitarianism is led by dedicated leaders and staff of the hospitality industry. With over 9,000 foodservice operations in Oregon, that’s a significant number of businesses making an impact in their local communities.

To celebrate the industry’s successes and show appreciation of the industry’s role in improving the quality of life for the greater audience it serves, the National Restaurant Association and American Express present the Restaurant Neighbor Award. This award recognizes restaurants who give significant contributions back to their communities. Each year, four national winners receive $5,000 each toward continuing their charitable works.

Restaurants of all sizes are encouraged to apply for this award. Not only is the Oregon finalist recognized statewide at ORLA’s Annual Convention but they will also be listed as the state winner in NRA’s media and forwarded on for consideration in the national selection of winners. Applications for the 2012 Restaurant Neighbor Award are due December 20th (updated)– visit for details.