As we prepare for our upcoming annual golf tournament fundraiser, the Carino's Foundation has continued our efforts to improve the lives of families living in the areas we serve. Recently Carino's Italian sponsored "Shirt Off the Back Night" at a Round Rock Express minor league baseball game. We invited Autism Speaks to join us for this special night and be the beneficiary of Shirt Off the Back raffle sales. Raising over $4,000 for Autism Speaks, eager baseball fans lined up to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a Round Rock Express autographed player's jersey. The Carino's Foundation also presented a $25,000 check to Autism Speaks, generated from the fundraising promotion during April's Autism Awareness Month when the Carino's Foundation donated $1 for every Pasta Harvest entrée sold at Carino's Italian.
In addition to the raffle and check presentation, Autism Speaks brought along many kids and families to participate in the evening's activities, including throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, being "baseball buddies" with the players during the national anthem, and even leading the entire stadium in singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in the seventh inning. The kids from Autism Speaks had a great time and Carino's Italian is proud to partner with this outstanding organization.
While a good time was had at the ballpark on September 3rd, it was immediately followed by concern for our neighbors all across Texas as wildfires broke out in numerous areas on Labor Day weekend. We were all shocked by images of the devastation in Bastrop, Texas, just a short distance from our restaurants and corporate headquarters in Austin. Carino's Italian has remained committed to standing with our neighbors and supporting them in their time of need. Several of our Austin-area team members were privileged to deliver a hot meal to 200 evacuees in Bastrop in early September, and we returned last week to feed Bastrop County staff, first responders and volunteers at the Bastrop Convention Center. These experiences are always humbling and we are thankful to be in a position to lend a helping hand.
Once again, I thank our loyal customers and Carino's Foundation supporters for enabling us to help make a difference.
Creed Ford III
President, Carino's Foundation
President and CEO, Carino's Italian