published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Local IHOP teams with Boys & Girls Club
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Generosity, with a side of hope, is what's being served up at IHOP Restaurants across the Sunshine State over the next few weeks, and Highlands County's local restaurant is enthusiastically taking part in the initiative.
The IHOPE (Helping Others Prosper Everyday) Charity has teamed up with Boys and Girls Clubs for the "Hope in a Box, Sneakers for Students."
Beginning July 15, IHOP restaurants will collect new and unused shoes to be handed out to local students for the upcoming school year.
The project is a first for the Highlands County location.
"We were contacted by corporate office and of course we jumped right on the band wagon for this," said Sebring IHOP General Manager Anthony Gullory.
Gullory is excited to be a part of the sneaker drive for the first time and is looking forward to the month-long initiative.
"I've spoken to other general managers in the district and they are all participating, so we are right on board with it too," Gullory said.
IHOP is no stranger to charity work, Gullory said. Throughout the year, the IHOPE charity participates in several local and national fundraisers -- the Children's Miracle Network Local Hospitals its most well-known. That fundraiser alone has raised approximately $1 million over the last two years.
Gullory's IHOP is one of 155 IHOP Restaurants throughout Florida and Southern Georgia that will be participating in the event, according to Silvia Reyes, marketing assistant at IHOP's Florida operation headquarters in Sunrise.
The Sebring IHOP will collect shoes through Aug. 11. Each week, Boys and Girls Club representatives will pick up the shoes and disperse them to members of the club.
The Boys and Girls Club currently serves approximately 135,000 underprivileged children within the state of Florida.
Gullory and his 29 employees are thrilled to be a part of the project and look forward to helping out in the community through the project.
"It's definitely something that is needed here," Gullory said.
Donated shoes should be for students ages 5-16 (elementary through high school age). No particular brands or styles are specified, patrons may donate whatever they wish for the cause.
IHOP will honor each patron that drops off a pair of new or unused sneakers at restaurants with a short stack of buttermilk pancakes.
Gullory stated that sneakers may be dropped off anytime during regular business hours at the Sebring IHOP.
"We're open 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 24 hours on the weekend. Anytime we are open people can drop off the sneakers," said Gullory.
Small Banner Ads