Chili’s helps raise funds for Blount charitable organizations

The Chili’s at Hamilton Crossing in Alcoa was busy this winter helping area charities. Several local non-profit organizations benefited from the restaurant’s generosity, including the United Way of Blount County and Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee. Chili’s permitted each organization to hand out fliers to patrons on their special night, and the restaurant gave 10 percent of all purchases made by customers with the fliers to the charities. The purchases had to happen between 4 and 11 p.m. on specific days set aside by Chili’s.

On Feb. 23, supporters of Secret Safe Place came to enjoy a meal and to raise money for the charity, all of which will go directly to the organization. Dawn Herring, co-chair of the Executive Committee, said the funds will be used primarily for Safe Haven Law awareness efforts in high schools and colleges.

Chili’s held a similar fundraiser for United Way of Blount County on March 3. The turnout at this event, too, was strong. “We were very pleased with how easy it was to work with them,” said United Way marketing coordinator Aaron Killian. “With the economy the way it is, we’re looking for new ways to raise a little extra money.”

United Way of Blount County is financially independent and distributes funds to 27 different non-profits to support 61 different community projects. More than 20,000 people in Blount County benefit from United Way. The organization prioritizes its efforts for education, self-sufficiency and health.

Killian said Chili’s management told United Way of Blount County about 150 people showed up to support the organization by eating dinner at the restaurant. Neither organization has yet received the final tally of funds raised, but members of each say they are confident that the fundraisers were successful and are thankful for Chili’s support.

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