CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

Dining for a Cure

Step 1. Find a restaurant! Where do you eat out? My event was held in a family run restaurant, where I work but many chain restaurants also will host fundraisers. In our area, it's a common thing in Sliders and Chilis to give back to the community. Don't be afraid to ask! Sans Souci Restaurant in Meriden, Ct. agreed to donate 10% of the evenings proceeds to the Unity Walk and Dining for a Cure was born. In return, I agreed to fill the restaurant to capacity. I did this by spreading the word everywhere.

Step 2. Pick a date. Work with the manager of the restaurant to pick a date that works best for their business. Also, ask permission to put up posters or table cards in the restaurant promoting the event. We used table cards. Ask the manager to let his employees know what the event's about so if a customer asks a question they can answer it. We put the table cards on the tables a month prior to the event.

Step 3. Advertise everywhere! Here's what I did...

  • Social media. Continuous Public Facebook posts advertising the event, promoting the restaurant as well. Our first year we had a piano player from the restaurant donate his time. This year it was a three-piece band. I used that as a selling point. Sans Souci offered a $5.00 martini menu. I used that. I'm sure twitter would also work. And most restaurants have a Facebook page ask to post on that.
  • Local newspapers have an announcement or upcoming event section. Call the newspaper and get the email for this. These are us usually free. Look in the paper for an article featuring a fundraiser and email that reporter about your event. This worked for us the first year of Dining for a Cure and my sister and I were featured on the front page. They also interviewed the manager of the restaurant. Who doesn't like free publicity, right?
  • Check out your local Morning news channels. They always announce upcoming events along with birthdays and anniversaries. Local weather man on Eyewitness News, Scot Haney announced it live on the air for us the morning before and the day of our event. All it took was an email to him.
  • Get everyone on your team to share everything you post.
  • Ask the restaurant if you can be up front with a donation jar. I did not expect people who came out to dinner to walk in with donations but they did. Also ask if they would like volunteers to help that evening. My daughter, niece and sister-in-law all helped out at our last event. And of course, my sister Doreen who has PD was there.

Our first year we raised $1700.00 and this year we raised $3045.00!

Polly Zagorski
Team member, Deen’s Day Trippers


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