Clear your schedules for Thursday and try not to pack your stomachs Wednesday night, because Communities In Schools staff members are urging the public to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner at area restaurants throughout the day.
Approximately 60 restaurants are participating in the 2013 Dine Out for Communities In Schools, an annual event in which local restaurants pledge 10 percent of their sales to support one of the area’s larger dropout prevention programs.
The money raised by the Dine Out program will go directly to the operating budget for Communities In Schools of the Rocky Mount Region.
“We are so thankful for the willingness of local restaurants to help support the mission and students of CIS,” Communities In Schools Executive Director Natalie Watson said. “The community looks forward to Dine Out, and it provides a great opportunity to help some deserving students and also patronize local businesses. It is just a win-win situation for everybody.”
Watson said she and her staff are looking forward to a great turnout at Twin Counties restaurants for this year’s Dine Out.
“We’ve added new restaurants this year, so we’re really hoping that whenever patrons are looking to eat out on Thursday – be it breakfast, lunch or dinner – they visit a Dine Out restaurant,” Watson said.
Dine Out represents one of the biggest fundraisers for Communities In Schools, and since 1997 has been essential to allowing the organization to continue supporting its programs.
The effort raises an average of $14,000 for Communities In Schools each year.
Boddie-Noell Enterprises once again is providing the administrative support for the program.
“We have an outstanding response this year from our area restaurants. There is a total of 59 different locations participating, which will give diners many choices,” said Bill Boddie, president and CEO of Boddie-Noell Enterprises. “The businesses in Rocky Mount and its surrounding areas are well-known for generously supporting good causes.”
That support is evidence businesses continue to believe in Communities In Schools’ mission of surrounding students with a community of support, and thus empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life, Boddie said.
“We are very fortunate to have Communities In Schools in our community as there are only 37 affiliates in North Carolina,” Boddie said. “Our affiliate has knowledgeable and dedicated staff and volunteers who work diligently with each of our students so they can graduate from high school and then continue their education in college.”
Keith Pittman, general manager at participating restaurant Chew’n Chat Café & Catering, said the Dine Out event not only is good for business, but also is a great way of giving back to the community and its students.
“It is about supporting the community and the patrons who spend money with us – so why not give back,” Pittman said. “The sooner we can get them to buy into bettering the community – the sooner we can strengthen it.”