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Dishes & Wishes Satisfy Craving for Giving at Maggiano's Little Italy(R)

Seventh annual 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish(R)' Makes Children's Wishes Come True

DALLAS, April 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --The Maggiano's Little Italy(R) "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign begins today nationwide, giving its guests several tasty ways to support a great cause. The program runs through May 26 and benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R), which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Maggiano's helps children like Grace, who wished to be in her own fairytale, live their one true wish. Volunteers from the Make-A-Wish Foundation created a whimsical wish day for Grace, from a magical tea party to a golf cart ride with a pirate at the wheel. Her fairy tale came to a close at Maggiano's Little Italy in Bellevue, Wash., where the entire staff wore fairy-tale hats and decorated its banquet room in the day's theme, for their guest of honor.

Aiming to grant at least one wish per restaurant, the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" program includes three key fundraising components:

  • $1 Donation for new e-mail club sign-ups - Maggiano's will donate $1 (up to $150,000) to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every new guest who signs up to join Maggiano's e-mail club. In addition to the $1 donation, the guest will receive a welcome e-mail with a $10 off coupon for their next visit.
  • The "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu - featuring five "chef's special" dishes - one appetizer, three entrees, one dessert - as well as Star-shaped Lemon Cookies and a specialty non-alcoholic beverage. When a guest orders any item from the special menu, Maggiano's will donate $1 per food item and $.50 per drink to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Stars - these inspiring decorative star-shaped cards adorn restaurants throughout the campaign - proudly displaying the names of patrons who have donated to the program. Guests can make a direct donation for an amount of their choosing to purchase a star card; 100 percent of the funds from star card sales will go directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Maggiano's restaurants continually support the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the year, in addition to this annual campaign. Restaurants organize events to honor Make-A-Wish(R) children, such as send-off parties before their wishes or welcome home parties after their wishes have come true. Additionally, Maggiano's hosts Make-A-Wish birthday parties with family and friends.

"Maggiano's and the Make-A-Wish Foundation are a perfect pair - we are both in the business of making people feel special," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy. "Every year, there are endless stories like Grace's that truly demonstrate the passion and dedication our restaurants and our teammates feel for granting wishes."

"The enthusiasm Maggiano's operators and guests bring to the table during the 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' campaign is inspiring," said Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and CEO David Williams. "In the six years Maggiano's has aligned with us, their restaurants and guests have raised more than $1 million for our foundation. We look forward to the 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' program each year, and we're excited for this year's program to get underway."

This year's "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu includes:

  • Grilled Steak Bruschetta - an appetizer featuring Gorgonzola fondue topped with slices of steak, red onions, spiced walnuts and fresh spinach baked on crispy garlic bread.
  • Bowtie Aglio with Herb Chicken- bowtie pasta tossed with herb chicken, asparagus, fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, Calabrian peppers and Parmesan.
  • Lamb Spiedini - tender pieces of lamb, Italian sausage, and crispy red potatoes, topped with roasted peppers and onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and a fresh herb vinaigrette.
  • Baked Tilapia with Lobster - tilapia topped with lobster and Mascarpone fondue, baked al forno and served with grilled vegetables, balsamic and fresh tarragon.
  • Berry Tiramisu- a decadent seasonal twist on our classic dessert, layered with fresh blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.
  • Star Lemon Cookies- special star-shaped versions of Maggiano's traditional glazed lemon cookies.
  • Maggiano's Sangria Limonata - a refreshing blend of fruit and sparkling lemonade.

About Maggiano's Little Italy

Maggiano's Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano's menu features both classic and contemporary recipes -- authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano's 45 locations worldwide offer lunch and dinner, delivery, carryout service and banquet spaces for special occasions. Maggiano's is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, with more than 1,700 restaurants in 29 countries and two territories.

Other Brinker restaurant brands include Chili's(R) Grill & Bar and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina(R). Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill(R). For more information, visit

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 65 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 188,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit and discover how you can share the power of a wish(R).

SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy