Long Island’s Spirit of Giving.
J&B Restaurant Partners is socially responsible and committed to the Long Island area. With his success, the one thing Vitrano has never failed to forget is his commitment and dedication to the Long Island community. Part of J&B’s corporate mission is a continuous effort for ongoing philanthropic programs. This has resulted in continued support for hundreds of nonprofit and community organizations including:
- Long Island ’s Project Feed The Children
- Easter Seals
- WBLI’s 4 th Annual Steve & Maria’s “Adopt-A-Kid” program
- John Thiessen Children’s Foundation
- American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart
- "Breaking the Silence; Teaching the Next Generation About Mental Illness" available through the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
J&B is focused on making a difference in the communities where their restaurants are located and supports local organizations that they feel will help to achieve that goal.
During the past few years, J&B’s efforts have included:
“Cones For Kids” program that benefited Easter Seals.
Just recently, during 2004, J&B’s Friendly’s restaurants raised over $145,000 during a six week time period. The program offered Friendly’s guests the choice between either a Kids Valentine’s Day card, redeemable for five free Friendly’s Kids Cones, or an Adult Coupon Booklet with coupons worth over $35 for a $1 donation to Easter Seals. The coupons included money-saving values on Friendly’s food and ice cream. All money that was raised is used to help adults and children with disabilities lead a more independent life.
American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart.
For the school year 2003-2004, J&B is the proud supporter of the American Hear Association Jump Rope For Heart program in Nassau and Suffolk counties. J&B will contribute funds, materials and prizes, a month long collection campaign at all its Friendly’s Long Island restaurants and will host a special thank-you awards luncheon in June, 2004. In addition, there will be coupons for a “Happy Ending Sundae” for every student that participates in the Jump Rope For heart program. J&B will also award the highest Jump Rope For heart fundraising school $2,000 and the top three fundraising students in Nassau and Suffolk counties combined will be honored each with a new bike.
Breaking The Silence.
LI Friendly’s restaurants is supporting the distribution of a school based mental illness education project known as "Breaking the Silence; Teaching the Next Generation About Mental Illness" (BTS) during the 2003/2004 school year. “Breaking the Silence” teaching packets include lessons, stories, games and posters that destigmatize mental illness and educate upper elementary, middle and high school students about these serious brain disorders. Information on BTS is available through the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Queens/Nassau office.
The John Thiessen Children’s Foundation.
During the holiday season in 2003, J&B Restaurant Partners, joined forces with The John Thiessen Children’s Foundation and WBAB in an effort to make holiday dreams come true for sick and economically disadvantaged children the holiday season. Members of the community were encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys at any of the Long Island Friendly’s locations. The toys collected were distributed to sick and economically disadvantaged children here on Long Island.
WBLI’s 4 th Annual Steve & Maria’s “Adopt-A-Kid” Program.
In 2003, J&B helped make the holiday dreams of children come true by supporting WBLI’s 4 th Annual Steve & Maria’s “Adopt-A-Kid” program. J&B supported the program by opening their hearts in all their Friendly’s LI restaurants in an effort to purchase holiday gift cards for children who normally would not receive any gifts during the holiday season . All Friendly’s LI restaurants served as central collection drop-off locations for check contributions from the public. Checks were made out to Family Service League and placed in cannisters located next to the register. Credit card contributions were also accepted. In addition , during “Friendly’s Fridays,” J&B Restaurant Partners Friendly’s LI matched any donations contributed to WBLI (106.1) up to $10,610!
AmeriCare’s relief efforts.
J&B was asked to serve as a trusted collection point after the tragic events of September 11 th for AmeriCare, a nonprofit dis aster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs and supports long-term healthcare programs. J&B’s restaurants were able to safely collect and transfer over $850,000 worth of donations to AmeriCare for the victims.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
In conjunction with the Taco Bell Foundation, J&B Restaurant Partners has found a way to reach out to the community it serves. Over the years, J&B has collected countless dollars for the Boys and Girls Club of America through the TEEN Supreme donation program,
In addition to the above, J&B provides continuous support to over thousands of organizations and groups on a grassroots level such as local schools, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
J&B’s plan is to make a significant difference with their philanthropic efforts and contribute something of great value to the Long Island community, making the lives of Long Islanders a little bit easier. J&B feels that making a difference in the life of people – especially on Long Island - is a wonderful and rewarding experience and he is committed to sharing that experience with his employees and customers. They feel that giving to others is definitely character building and humbling and they consistently encourage others to do so.
J&B feels the primary reason why their philanthropic programs consistently exceed the goals that were set and why they have been so successful is because J&B cares, their customers are giving and the local communities support the causes they believe in. Vitrano recognizes this is important and a winning combination. J&B wouldn’t be able to make such a difference and be this successful without that support. And his efforts seem to be making a significant impact.
The plan is to implement an overall “Social Responsibility” program throughout the concession stands in both Robert Moses and Jones Beach. J&B Restaurant Partners will manage the programs and will provide public credit and recognition of the New York State Parks for their involvement in the “Social Responsibility” programs that take place at each concession.
Comments from organizations J&B is supporting:
"Thanks to J&B, many classrooms across LI were able to receive free copies of our teaching packets, "Breaking the Silence; Teaching the Next Generation About Mental Illness". NAMI Q/N and BTS are privileged to have LI Friendly's as a corporate sponsor." Janet Susin, NAMI Q/N Co-President
“The generosity and benevolence that Joe Vitrano and J&B Restaurant Partners has demonstrated this season is tremendous. Joe Vitrano cares. His efforts prove this is truly a wonderful life,” Major Chuck Kilbride, USMC/Toys For Tots.
“J&B Restaurant Partners has made the American Heart Association Jump Rope For Heart program so much fun for the children. We really appreciate their support and the support of their CEO Joe Vitrano, in helping us to make an impact against heart disease and in helping us to encourage children to become involved in community service by participating in this wonderful program.” Betsy M. Shurack, American Heart Association, Heritage Affiliate, Sr. Reg. Dir.Youth Market, LI, Brooklyn, Queens
“The generosity and benevolence that J&B Restaurant Partners has demonstrated towards charitable organizations like Easter Seals is overwhelming. It is because of the support of such companies as J&B Restaurant Partners that we are able to make an impact and help individuals in need,” stated Christine McMahon, Chief Operating Officer, Easter Seals.