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Local Make-A-Wish® Child, Who Inspired Drink on National Maggiano's Menu, Has Wish Granted

Brinker International to host luau send-off party for 8-year-old Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas recipient

DALLAS, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), parent company of Maggiano's Little Italy® will host a send-off party for Make-A-Wish Foundation North Texas recipient, Leslie at the company's second annual Make-A-Wish Day Friday, May 27 at their Dallas headquarters.

Sponsoring Leslie's wish to visit the sunny, tropical beaches of Hawaii, Brinker is surprising Leslie with the news that her wish will be granted. Tiki men and torches will transform Brinker's front lawn, as restaurant support center team members don grass skirts and leis to surprise Leslie during her wish granting ceremony.

Leslie, an eight-year-old from Desoto, is also the inspiration for Leslie's Lemonade, which can be found at Maggiano's restaurants nationwide on the brand's Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish menu. The Eat-A-Dish campaign began May 5 and runs through June 29, benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"Our annual Make-A-Wish campaign sparks emotions among teammates in our restaurants and guests across the country," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy and Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas board member. "In the spirit of giving, team members at our restaurant support center and in our restaurants are once again going all out to support Make-A-Wish and Leslie, granting wishes for other children with life-threatening medical conditions."

Leslie is looking forward to visiting one of Hawaii's breathtaking islands and seeing the ocean with her mom, dad and two older brothers. During her wish trip she'll be able to swim with the dolphins, take an underwater adventure in a submarine and have the chance to set sail on an ocean dinner cruise.

Leslie's elaborate send-off party would not be possible without the generosity of Fauxcades, whose set designers will help transform the lawn in front of the Brinker headquarters into a Hawaiian luau. Events such as this, along with the annual Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish campaign, are examples of how Maggiano's continually supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the year. Since the partnership's inception, Maggiano's has raised more than $1.5 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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 1,500 restaurants in 31 countries and two territories.

Brinker wholly owns and operates Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill®. 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 one of the world's leading children's charities, with 64 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 250,000 wishes in the United States. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.

SOURCE Brinker International, Inc.