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03/ 2/14 10:10 AM EST

Hooters Donates $200,000 to The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Hooters collected funds through signature drinks, 2014 Hooters Calendars and in-store donations

Hooters Donates $200,000 to The V Foundation for Cancer Research

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hooters of America, LLC, is proud to announce a $200,000 donation for breast cancer research to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations. For this year’s fundraising campaign, Hooters guests participated by purchasing specialty drinks, merchandise, 2014 Hooters Calendars, making donations in-store and attending signature fundraising events.

Hooters presented the $200,000 check to The V Foundation on Sunday, April 6, at an exclusive VIP event at the Hooters of West End, Texas, better known as the “World’s Largest Hooters,” amidst the excitement of the men’s college basketball finals. Special event guests included Dick Vitale, legendary college basketball analyst and long-time supporter and board member for The V Foundation; Jay Williams, former Duke University basketball great, NBA first-round pick and current ESPN analyst; Joey Chestnut, professional eater and two-time Hooters World Wing-Eating Champion; Marissa Raisor, Miss Hooters International 2013; and Tyler Suess, 2014 Hooters Girl of the Year.

"For the past 11 years, The V Foundation has found a loyal corporate sponsor in Hooters," said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation, who accepted the check on behalf of the organization. "Their fight against breast cancer is personal, beginning with the loss of a beloved colleague. We are very thankful for their donation for breast cancer research and for raising awareness about the role each of us can play in ending this disease."

This year’s Hooters fundraising campaign began in October to align with national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The iconic Hooters Girls donned pink shoelaces in honor of Hooters fundraising effort. Participating Hooters locations across the country featured a special beverage menu, including Montevina Pinot Grigio, Simply Naked Red Blend, a Tropical L.I.T. cocktail and non-alcoholic strawberry lemonade. For each of these drinks purchased during the campaign, Hooters donated $1 to The V Foundation. In addition, for every 2014 Hooters Calendar and select Hooters merchandise purchased, Hooters donated 50 cents toward the breast cancer research fundraising campaign. Dine-in guests had the opportunity to add a cash or credit card donation to The V Foundation to their bills, and pink Hooters wristbands were given to guests to further raise campaign awareness.

“Hooters truly believes in the mission of The V Foundation, and we are proud to make another significant contribution to the organization this year in support of breast cancer research,” said Andrew Pudduck, vice president of marketing, Hooters of America. “Every donation from our loyal guests makes a difference, and we greatly appreciate their support and commitment to this meaningful cause.”

Since 2002, Hooters has donated more than $2 million to The V Foundation through the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Grant. Hooters established the grant as part of the Hooters Community Endowment Fund (HOOCEF) in honor of the late Kelly Jo Dowd, the 1995 Hooters Calendar Cover Girl and former manager of the Hooters of Palm Harbor, Fla., who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007.

Dowd spent the last years of her life educating her Hooters Girl family of the importance of breast cancer awareness and early detection. Before she passed, Hooters made a promise to carry on her mission of educating her extended Hooters family, which includes 17,000 current Hooters Girls.

To find your nearest Hooters location, visit Hooters.com.