|~ Outback Steak House, Inc. and Darden Restaurants to donate 100 percent
of the proceeds to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund~
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2004
CONTACT: JACOB DIPIETRE
TALLAHASSEE / MELBOURNE - Governor Jeb Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings
today joined in Dine Out for Disaster Relief Day. In support of the program,
more than 1,600 restaurants across Florida have agreed to donate a portion of
their revenue to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, benefiting victims of Hurricanes
Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne.
"The past two months have been trying for the State of Florida, but even
more so for those whose homes and businesses were damaged by the recent hurricanes.
Dine Out for Disaster Relief Day provides families across the state an opportunity
to spend quality time together, while offering assistance to their fellow Floridians
in need, " said Governor Bush. "I applaud the Florida Restaurant Association
for their effort in organizing more than 1,600 businesses for this worthy cause."
Dine Out For Disaster Relief Day is a partnership effort between the Florida
Restaurant Association (FRA) and the State of Florida. Sponsors of Dine Out for
Disaster Relief Day include, SYSCO, The Florida Outdoor Advertising Association
and Office Depot.
"This is not an easy time for many Floridians, including businesses and
restaurants that have been impacted by these successive and devastating hurricanes.
Our members have given unselfishly back to their communities throughout these
storms," said Carol Dover, FRA President & CEO. "They have participated
in the relief effort on an ongoing basis, providing food, ice and have served
more than 100,000 meals to impacted communities. They are now helping again by
participating in the 'Dine Out for Disaster Relief Day'.''
Governor Bush dined at Smokey Bones, who along with all other Darden Restaurant
chains will donate 100 percent of the day's profits to the Florida Hurricane
"We hope Thursday is one of our restaurants' busiest days of the year," said
Clarence Otis, Jr., CEO-designee for Darden Restaurants and a member of the
Florida Hurricane Relief Fund's voluntary steering committee. "What a
privilege it is for Darden to help rebuild the communities that have supported
our restaurants for more than 30 years by donating 100 percent of our Florida
profits from the day."
Lt. Governor Jennings participated by dining at a local Outback Steakhouse,
who has also agreed to donate all of its profits during Dine Out Day to the
"The Outback Steakhouse, Inc., family of restaurants – Outback
Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine
Bar, Roy's and Lee Roy Selmon's -- is proud to be participating in the Dine
Out for Disaster Relief Day effort on Oct 14th," said Paul Avery, President
of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. "Along with
hundreds of independent and chain restaurants throughout Florida, we hope to
raise significant funds to support the relief efforts of the many in need.
We hope that everyone will dine with one of the many Florida restaurants participating
in this important fundraiser."
The Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, established by Governor Bush, is designed
to help make relief dollars stretch and avoid duplications of funding. Counties
selected for allocation from the fund are determined by FEMA filings for assistance
- those counties with the most filings receive the largest percentage of the
funds. Each county selected is required to develop a plan for addressing needs
that cannot be met by insurance, state
and federal assistance, as well as assistance from other relief organizations.
The fund is managed by nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation. All donations
are tax-deductible and will be used for the hurricane relief effort in Florida.
For more information, call 1-800-FL-HELP-1 or go to www.flahurricanefund.org.
Checks, made payable to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, can be mailed to
Volunteer Florida Foundation, 401 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
A list of restaurants participating in Dine Out for Disaster Relief Day can
be found by visiting www.flra.com.