Wisconsin Hospitality Group, 73 Wisconsin Pizza Huts Team Up with First Book to Provide Literacy Tools to Wisconsin Kids

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Wisconsin Pizza Huts look to help local schools gain access to literacy resources, empower area teachers, and inspire children to read.

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The Next Door Foundation would like to thank Wisconsin Hospitality Group for including our Books for Kids Program. We appreciate the support in our efforts to distribute books to Milwaukee children, and the help in achieving our mission.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group (WHG), its 73 Wisconsin Pizza Huts, along with its charitable foundation, WHG Cares, are proud to announce a new giving initiative, The Literacy Project, aimed at improving literacy skills in children within our local communities. WHG and their Wisconsin Pizza Huts will raise money for First Book, a non-profit organization that provides new books and educational resources to children in need, thereby enabling local schools and educational institutions access to literacy resources, empowering area teachers, and inspiring children to read. First Book has provided literacy and learning resources and programs to three million children throughout 275,000 schools and programs nationwide.

From September 8th through October 24th, guests who visit any WHG-owned Pizza Hut will be able donate money to The Literacy Project, which will go to local organizations eligible for First Book benefits. WHG is proud to partner with Greater Waukesha Literacy, and Milwaukee’s Next Door Education and Social Service Center.

“The Next Door Foundation would like to thank Wisconsin Hospitality Group for including our Books for Kids Program,” Amy Gnadt, annual funds and special projects coordinator for Next Door says, “We appreciate the support in our efforts to distribute books to Milwaukee children, and the help in achieving our mission of building stronger families through education.”

“Pizza Hut has laid out a very ambitious goal with The Literacy Project, and Wisconsin Hospitality Group is excited to make this project a success,” Mark Dillon, CEO of Wisconsin Hospitality Group says, “we are truly committed to improving the lives of children in Wisconsin, and The Literacy Project is a great way for us to advance that mission.”

Money raised over the course of The Literacy Project will be distributed first to WHG’s three partner organizations, with any surplus going to other Wisconsin-area organizations at the beginning of next year.

Throughout the last 16 years, WHG, a local restaurant franchise group, through its Applebee’s and Pizza Hut restaurants, has been able to donate more than $2.4 million in combined gifts to local charities including Children's Hospital, ProHealth Care, World Hunger Relief, Honor Flight and One Heartland. These donations were made possible by both the generosity of guests and the hard work of all WHG team members.

The company has established a non-profit foundation, WHG Cares, to centralize all of the company’s fundraising efforts and to provide opportunities for tax deductible donations in the future. During all of WHG’s campaigns, the company stays committed to keeping costs down and to providing 100% of the campaign net proceeds to its charitable partners.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group and its affiliates own and operate 108 restaurants across Wisconsin and northern Illinois. WHG has grown in sales to become the largest Wisconsin-based food service franchise company in the state. Headquartered in Waukesha, WHG operates 35 Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants and 73 Pizza Hut Restaurants, all committed to guest satisfaction and community support.

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Colin Bennett

Denise Harris