The Carino's Foundation

November 17, 2010

Oh, how time flies… last month I was reflecting on just how far the Carino’s Foundation has come. It’s been eleven years since the Carino’s Foundation was founded. We started with a simple mission: To provide support to charitable organizations assisting children and families in crisis through immediate and direct relief. And I’m proud to say that our mission continues today. As we always do, we celebrated with our annual Vendor Appreciation event, which was held at the Lost Pines Resort just outside Austin. It was a great two days with our annual scramble golf tournament, and our award presentation and dinner. This event is our way of thanking our vendors from the superior service they bring to our partnership, as well for their continued support in the Carino’s Foundation and it’s mission.

Each year we present a Vendor-of-the-Year Award to the vendor who not only provides excellent service, but that goes above and beyond in bringing innovative ideas to our restaurants and areas of food distribution. This years’ recipient was Ben E. Keith Company (BEK). Chris Lewis accepted the award on behalf of the company. BEK has been with Carino’s from the very beginning and their partnership has continued in our restaurants and with our Foundation.

It wasn’t all smiles this year for the Carino’s family; long-time Senior Executive and my personal friend, Mike Parsons passed away after an 18-month battle with cancer. To honor Mike and his contribution to Carino’s, the Carino’s Foundation has established the Mike Parsons Wellness Center located at Marbridge Ranch in their new Victory Fitness Center.  Marbridge provides a unique spectrum of residential care, education, and training for adults with various cognitive challenges ( This organization and its mission was particularly important to Mike and we are proud to honor him in this way.

Since its inception in 1999 the Carino’s Foundation has raised over $2 million and made contributions to numerous charities including but not limited to, Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy, Capital Area Food Bank, American Youth Works, Limbs for Life, Marbridge, the Ronald McDonald House and more.

2011 is going to be an exciting year for the Foundation with renewed focus and energy and we invite you to join us along the way and share the journey. Together with our Carino’s Italian restaurants and you, our guests, we can continue to make a difference in our communities. Check back here for more updates, pictures and discussions from our ongoing efforts. 

Giving is fun,

Creed Ford III
President, Carino’s Foundation
President and CEO Carino’s