Last month, our Southern Louisiana Pizza Huts were definitely thinking pink, and joined the fight against breast cancer with their support for the Bayou Region Race for the Cure® hosted by Susan G. Komen. Always one to give back to the community, Restaurant General Manager Nathan Bruce and his team were on site throughout the race to provide pizzas and snacks for the over 1,300 participants and volunteers who ran or walked 5K in support of battling breast cancer.
It was the second year Nathan and his teams supported the race volunteers and participants. “For me, it all starts with one person. When I think of the story behind the Susan G Komen foundation, their efforts to beat breast cancer started with one person: Nancy Brinker, Susan’s sister. She started one of the largest efforts to combat breast cancer in the country—we were just a small part of it. One person noticing something and wanting to make a change is all that it takes,” says Nathan. And, like his support for Relay for Life earlier this year, all it took for Nathan to get involved was chatting with a customer wearing the right t-shirt.
Nathan and Restaurant General Manager Tabetha Long made sure that no one went away hungry after completing the course. They started the day around 9:30AM with $2/slice, proceeds going to benefit Race for the Cure® (as well as donating pizzas for the many volunteers who helped set up the day before and make the event a huge success). The team of Elgin Hawthorne, Tiffany Ellinger, and Keiosha Holmes did an amazing job cooking up pizzas, brownies, and breadsticks, while Sarah Labert held down the fort back at the restaurant while the team went out to the race. Nathan reports that in just a few hours, the team sold 23 pizzas to contribute over $300 in sales, along with donating over $200 on food to feed volunteers—not bad for a morning’s work. While funds from the event are still being tallied, it’s estimated that the Bayou Region raised about $100,000 for Komen’s effort to combat breast cancer.
Nathan and the other Pizza Hut restaurants have a history of supporting their community, and their collaboration with the organizers of this race is no different. According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, at least 75% of the Bayou Region Affiliate’s net income stays in the area with the explicit purpose of funding breast cancer screening and additional educational outreach and treatment for women. Grant recipients include local schools and hospitals that offer treatment to women right in the Bayou region. The Komen Bayou Region has used events like the Komen Bayou Region Race for the Cure® to generate more than $2.2 million in funding towards community breast health programs in five parishes in the region.
“I’ll be opening a Pizza Hut in a nearby parish, and we’re already looking for ways to spread the mission of giving back to that restaurant. We’ll also be supporting Relay for Life again coming up!” Big things going on down in Southern Louisiana. Stay tuned!