Restaurants unite for cancer research

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY -- Local restaurants have united to raise funds for the Relay for Life event that will held at Darton College April 16, 17.

Locos Grill & Pub, Ole Times Country Buffet, Moe's Southwest Grill, Maggie Moo's Ice Cream & Treatery, Firehouse Subs, TCBY, Beef 'O' Brady's, Austin's Barbecue and Carter's Fried Chicken have all agreed to host a Relay for Life night at their restaurants, when they will donate 10 percent of their proceeds to Relay for Life.

Relay for Life Co-Chairs Adrienne Wilson and Tammy Howell said they got the idea for the fundraiser from a group that did something similar at a Beef 'O' Brady's event last year.

"Once we started asking the restaurants if they would be willing to participate, there was no hesitation," said Wilson. "It was like a domino effect and every one of the restaurant owners we talked to had a story about cancer, they were willing to do anything to spotlight awareness."

Howell said the fundraiser has been challenging, but a wonderful community building effort.

"It was unbelievable the response we've gotten," she said. "At first we were apprehensive about the response we would get but everything has been going well. They (the participating restaurants) have been so generous to let us take over for five or six hours of their time."

Firehouse Subs owner Morgan Collins said the fundraiser is a win-win situation for Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society and local restaurants.

"It's a great organization (American Cancer Society) and we are excited to support it and the great things that they do," he said. "This fundraiser allows us to give back and we get people into our store to try it out that may not have been there before."

Collins, a recent cancer survivor, said he is very pleased to donate proceeds to Relay for Life and he knows the importance of cancer research first-hand.

"I was undergoing treatments this time last year," he said.

Firehouse Subs are teaming up with neighbor TCBY to co-host a Relay Restaurant Night Tuesday from 5 p.m. to close.

Moe's Southwest Grill Owner Mack Hare said he has also been touched by cancer.

"I lost a daughter to cancer. It is something that affects every family," he said.

Moe's partnered with Maggie Moo's on Feb. 22 to host a Relay night, which both owners said went very well.

"We like to give back to the community when we can. It was great to be able to do something for Relay and cancer research," said Lew Culpepper, owner of Maggie Moo's Ice Cream & Treatery.

Wilson said the restaurants have helped raise significant funds towards Relay for Life's goal of $150,000.

"It's really heartwarming to see people come together like this for one cause," she said. "I know that it is hard for them (restaurants) right now with the economy like it is and for them to donate some of their proceeds is very generous."

Howell said local restaurants will continue to host Relay nights once a week throughout March.

"We have a great time during Relay nights," said Howell. "You hear so many negative things lately going on, it is nice to know that there are positive things happening as well."

Wilson and Howell said they will not know if they have reached their goal of $150,000 until late March.

"We have been doing very well and lots of people have been attending the Relay nights, so I think we are well on our way," said Wilson. "Cancer research is something that everyone can get behind."

"It really is, with cancer, not a matter of if you might be touched by it, but when," added Howell.