Second Annual APPLES FOR A CURE Campaign To Raise Money For Breast Cancer.

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36 Wisconsin-based Applebee’s restaurants, in combination with the company’s new foundation, WHG Cares, are launching their second annual Apples For A Cure breast cancer fundraising campaign on Sunday, September 27, 2015.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group

Wisconsin Hospitality Group

"Community support for breast cancer research, education and advanced diagnostics is invaluable.”

Wisconsin Hospitality Group LLC (WHG) and its 36 Wisconsin-based Applebee’s restaurants, in combination with the company’s new foundation, WHG Cares, are launching their second annual Apples For A Cure breast cancer fundraising campaign on Sunday, September 27, 2015. During the 2014 inaugural campaign, WHG raised more than $40,000, which was presented to ProHealth Care in February of 2015.

Over the course of the next five years, the company is targeted to raise $350,000 through the sales of the campaign’s official ribbons and food / drink specials in October. The charity partnership between WHG and ProHealth Care will focus on utilizing 100% of the campaign’s net proceeds towards funding for a national designated cancer genetics research project, along with the development of new state-of-the-art breast imaging services.

During the month of October, on Sundays and Wednesdays, WHG’s Applebee’s restaurants will donate 20% of the proceeds from the campaign’s dine-in food specials including the Triple Chocolate Meltdown, 50¢ wings* and the exclusive Apples For A Cure Appetizer Trio. Donations will also be applied to the campaign’s drink specials that include Miller Lite and Coors Light beer, the Perfect Pink Cosmo featuring 360 Vodka, and the Strawberry Lemonade Quencher. Guests will have the opportunity to also purchase exclusive campaign glassware, including a pint glass, martini glass or a plastic tumbler for $3 each, with 100% of net proceeds benefiting the campaign. (*Wing offer: Full order - $6.00 and half sized orders for $3.00) Dine-in only.)

Mark Dillon, CEO and president of WHG, launched this campaign last October because of the impact that breast cancer has had on his family and hopes that, through his 36 Applebee's restaurants, the company can raise funds to support advancements in research and early detection.

"Breast cancer has had a major impact on our family," explains Dillon. "The donations that we collect will go to early detection and breast cancer care. We ask all of our friends, family and Applebee's customers to help raise funds through this effort. This is something that is near and dear to our hearts and donations are greatly appreciated."

With the generous support of the Apples for A Cure sponsors – Miller, 360 Vodka and Pepsi – and guest donations, funds raised during the campaign’s five year course will be partially allocated to ProHealth Care’s first-class cancer center, which includes state-of-the-art breast imaging services. The Breast imaging services opened at the new location on August 10, 2015. The program will screen as many as 27,000 individuals per year, and is suited to support a projected 25% increase in screenings by 2019.

David Roelke, a ProHealth Care radiologist, a ProHealth Care Board member and a co-chair of the ProHealth Care cancer center capital campaign, will be working closely with Wisconsin Hospitality Group throughout the five-year campaign.

"Community support for breast cancer research, education and advanced diagnostics is invaluable.” said Roelke. "The Wisconsin Hospitality Group donations will go to breast imaging services to help provide cutting edge technology, including 3D mammography, as well as a healing environment for our patients.”

Funds raised will also support the ProHealth Care collaborative molecular genetics study with the City of Hope, which is designed to gain insights on how genetic mutations may contribute to the development of specific breast cancers and other cancers. The clinical study allows researchers to gain insights and answers about the connections between heredity and cancer. Participant blood samples are analyzed and stored in a confidential cancer research registry.

“The WHG dollars will go toward one of our research programs, in particular, genetics research,” said Roelke. “We have more than 100 patients enrolled in the program, 80% of which have breast cancer or a family history. Money raised from the Apples for a Cure campaign will go toward helping find better ways to diagnose those patients with breast cancer and help to get them treated and cured."

To centralize all fundraising across both its Applebee’s and Pizza Hut brands, Wisconsin Hospitality Group, a Wisconsin-based restaurant franchise group, has established WHG Cares, a non-profit foundation. Based in Waukesha, WHG Cares makes it a priority to keep campaign costs down and to provide 100% of campaign net proceeds to its charitable partners. Throughout the last 16 years, WHG has been able to donate more than $2.4 million in combined gifts to local charities including Children's Hospital, 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.

"Wisconsin Hospitality Group and our employees believe in philanthropy, volunteerism, and community involvement and through our corporate commitment to charities, we hope to make a difference and to give back," Dillon said. "Now, we are proud to have to opportunity to provide funding and support for breast cancer care and research through the ProHealth Care Foundation."

ProHealth Care is a community-based health care system that offers a full range of services, from fitness and wellness services to primary care and specialty care, hospital care, rehabilitation care, home and hospice care — and more. They’re dedicated to serving residents of Waukesha County and surrounding areas with the highest quality care to promote a healthier community. The ProHealth Care Foundation was formed in 2012 to merge all ProHealth Care fundraising efforts and provides funding for health and wellness development and research projects as well as other community outreach efforts.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group and its affiliates own and operate 118 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 36 Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants and 82 Pizza Hut Restaurants, all committed to guest satisfaction and community support.

For additional information about Apples For A Cure visit.

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Nikki Truskowski

Denise Harris