DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — The staff of the Chili’s in Marble Falls knows they are a bit off the beaten path compared to some of their fellow restaurants in major cities, but it’s only motivated them more when it comes to helping a world-renowned children’s hospital.
“We don’t always get the attention from corporate that other (Chili’s) do,” manager Mary Westbrook said. “I know for us here at the Chili’s in Marble Falls, that just motivates us more to really make a big mark during this month.”
Chili’s restaurants, nationally and locally, are raising money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The hospital, located in Memphis, Tenn., works on finding cures and treatments for catastrophic childhood diseases and helping youth with those conditions. The late entertainer Danny Thomas founded the hospital in 1964.
It was the first research hospital created with the purpose of doing clinical and basic research and treatment into those types of diseases. As a part of its mission, no family ever pays St. Jude for any services.
So fundraising efforts such as the one Chili’s holds in September helps both to offset costs and raise awareness of St. Jude.
“Helping St. Jude and the children is something just so close to our hearts here at Chili’s,” Westbrook said.
During the entire month of September, people can donate a minimum of $1 to Create-A-Pepper coloring sheet. The restaurant often hangs those peppers up to show how other patrons are helping St. Jude.
Westbrook said the restaurant also will be selling T-shirts for $12 and slap bands (a wristband) for $4 as part of the fundraiser.
“The big day is Sept. 23,” she added. “On that day, 100 percent of the profits (from Chili’s) goes to St. Jude. That’s how committed Chili’s is to this project.”
Since 2004, Chili’s has raised more than $46 million during this nationwide campaign for St. Jude. The company set a goal of raising $50 million in 10 years.
“And we’re in the last year of that 10-year period,” Westbrook said.
While this takes place at Chili’s restaurants across the country, Westbrook wants local diners to help her and her staff show the rest of the nation how much the Highland Lakes cares about children.
“We want to show that we here in the Marble Falls area can give like nobody else,” Westbrook said.
Chili’s is located at 702 First St. Go to www.morehope.chilis.com for information on the fundraising efforts. Go to www.stjudge.org for more information on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.