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SOURCE Jason's Deli
Jason's Deli Launches Charitable Campaign Featuring Employees and Their Families Who Fought Cancer
HOUSTON, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For Jason's Deli, this campaign is personal. The 37-year-old company founded in Beaumont, Texas, is featuring stories about its own employees, their families and their battles with cancer on bottles of water available for purchase in more than 200 Jason's Deli restaurants in 28 states across the country.
Starting Oct. 1, and for the next year, 10 cents from the sale of every Jason's Deli bottle of water will be donated to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for cancer research, prevention and treatment. Jason's Deli sells millions of bottles of water every year, which retail for $1.79 each. The relationship with Jason's Deli is the first of its kind for MD Anderson.
Inspiration for the Idea – Taking Care of Family
The idea started when several Jason's Deli employees and their family members recovered from cancer thanks to the care and expertise of MD Anderson's experts. The company decided to help expand MD Anderson's efforts by donating money from its bottled water sales to the renowned cancer center. Specially designed labels on the water bottles call attention to the effort by featuring stories and photos of Jason's Deli employees and their families touched by cancer.
"Jason's Deli is a family business and our employees are part of our family. Unfortunately, our family is affected by cancer like many others, so our decision to support MD Anderson is personal," said Jason's Deli founder and CEO Joe Tortorice, Jr. "Our employees and their family members who valiantly fight cancer inspire us. We're honoring them by sharing their stories. And by sharing their stories, we're letting everyone know how important it is to support MD Anderson in its mission to eliminate cancer."
A First for MD Anderson
The type of relationship between Jason's Deli and MD Anderson is the first branded cause marketing campaign for the Houston-based comprehensive cancer center. The campaign with Jason's Deli will support the MD Anderson Moon Shots Program, an unprecedented effort launched one year ago to accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths.
"Launching a campaign like the one we're beginning with Jason's Deli is something new for MD Anderson. When they approached us with the idea, we saw value in the level of support it can give cancer research and our vision of Making Cancer History,®" said Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., MD Anderson president. "We greatly appreciate the vital support that Jason's Deli embodies both through this campaign and the support it shows employees faced with this disease. It's a respected Texas company that shares our commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others."
Photos Bring to Life Personal Stories of Cancer Survivorship
The label of every Jason's Deli bottle of water now features an employee and his or her family, along with a website (www.jasonsdeli.com/strike-through-cancer) where anyone can learn more about the family's personal cancer journey and MD Anderson's work.
The iconic photographs on the labels are black-and-white, with the exception of vibrant color in the blue jeans and bandanas worn by the employee and his or her family. Family members wear bandanas as a show of support for their loved one and the cancer treatments he or she is undergoing or has completed.
The inspiration for the photo started with the experience of Jamie Cohen and his wife Monique's battle against breast cancer. Cohen is Brand Management Director for Jason's Deli. Because of his family's experience at MD Anderson, Cohen wanted Jason's Deli to do what it could to help other families receive high quality care there.
"MD Anderson took amazing care of Monique and our family through the entire process," Cohen said. "The care we received at MD Anderson was skilled and compassionate in ways we could have never imagined. We wanted to let everyone know."
Other Jason's Deli employees and their families touched by cancer jumped at the chance to share their stories when they heard the idea for the water bottle campaign. They all agreed that they wanted to communicate a message of support and hope while supporting MD Anderson's research and patient care initiatives.
Wearing Bandanas in Support
To call even more attention to the cause, throughout October Jason's Deli employees will wear bandanas in the restaurants to show their solidarity with their work family and anyone battling cancer.
"The bandana is an important symbol of this campaign. When everyone is wearing one, it says to people fighting cancer that they're not alone in the fight," Tortorice said.
The bandanas come in five colors, each representing a type of cancer in the Moon Shots Program:
As of Oct. 1, when customers walk into a Jason's Deli, they'll see employees in bandanas, the special water bottles available for purchase and other materials about the campaign. On the campaign microsite they can read the employees' stories, share their own and donate to MD Anderson. The campaign will also feature in the partners' social media channels.
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