Restaurant Neighbor Awards
Recognizing Outstanding Restaurant Community Service
The National Restaurant Association together with American Express, created the Restaurant Neighbor Award to help honor restaurants who are actively involved in their community and honoring the positive contributions restaurants make in their local neighborhoods each and every day.
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA), along with the NRA, is pleased to honor three Oregon restaurants this year and will recognize these statewide winners during the Hospitality Industry Awards Dinner at the association's Convention
on Sunday, September 21, 2014. State finalists' nominations were forwarded to the National Restaurant Association earlier this year where restaurants from across the U.S. competed for $5,000 to continue their charitable works. Read more on the 2014 national winners
Congratulations 2014 State Winners of the Restaurant Neighbor Award
Crossings Restaurant at The Riverhouse
For more than two decades, The Riverhouse Hotel & Crossings Restaurant has held an event that has come to be regarded as one of the best charitable events in Central Oregon. Since its inception, The Riverhouse Gala has raised about $2 million, benefiting myriad nonprofit groups such as Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Oregon, Grandma’s House, Sparrow Clubs USA, KIDS Center, Ronald McDonald House, The Every Kid Fund, Habit For Humanity, Tower Theater, Cascade Youth & Family Center, Deschutes Children’s Foundation and Volunteers in Medicine. “Each year the Riverhouse partners donate the facility and food and beverage for a 250 plus person, five-course banquet,” says Shannon Hinderberger, marketing manager. ‘This event is so popular with the local community that it is often sold out weeks in advance of the actual event.”
Hopworks Urban Brewery
On average Hopworks Urban Brewery donates about 25 meals each day to various organizations in and around Portland. The company, which has two units and 117 employees, contributes roughly $20,000 annually through its various projects. “A few of our sponsorship partners include: Friends of Trees, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Trillium Family Services, NW Trails Alliance, just to name a few,” says Bill Dickinson, general manager. One of the ways the restaurant keeps giving on a regular basis is through its Dine Out Nights, which are held monthly in both restaurants and contribute 20% of nightly proceeds to various groups. “Our staff often brings organizations to our attention which they believe Hopworks could and should support,” says Dickinson. Moving forward the company plans to encourage more employee volunteerism. “We are rolling out a new program called “the 40th hour,” in which Hopworks pays any employee one hour per week to volunteer at a charity or nonprofit of choice.”
Through Figaro’s grant program, H.E.L.P., the company provides grants to U.S. based nonprofit schools and other entities to support educational programs. “H.E.L.P. was born out of the desire of the shareholders and franchisees of Figaro’s Italian Pizza, to make a positive, long lasting impact on the communities we serve,” says Sharon Newkirk, administrative assistant. As a result of the “Great Recession,” local school budgets were slashed and Figaro’s, along with its 900 employees, wanted to pick up the slack. “It was the need that drove Figaro’s Pizza and its franchise owners to conceive of H.E.L.P., the charity which means, ‘Helping Education with Love and Pizza.”’ The 64 restaurants, which raised a total of more than $163,500, launched the program in late 2010. “As the franchisor, staff members collect and process grant applications and create briefing packets for the board of directors,” says Newkirk. “We also have four members of the staff serving on the H.E.L.P. board, who review and approve awarding of grants.” Funds have been used to purchase such things as I-Pads for elementary schools, scholarships, books, computer equipment and a new athletic track.
View past Oregon finalists
To apply for the 2015 award, visit the National Restaurant Association website