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Take a Moment to Make a Moment in a Child's Life with Chili's Create-A-Pepper Campaign


Ninth annual campaign continues to aid St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® in finding cures and saving children's lives
DALLAS, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It was January 2012, Isaac dribbled the ball; shot it through the hoop, swish! This was a simple moment the 15-year-old athlete who once participated in cross country, soccer and basketball, thought he'd never experience again. Ten months earlier, Isaac was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He became a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® and through extensive treatment and care, his cancer is in remission and he is able to play the sports he loves.

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Chili's® Grill & Bar is helping St. Jude patients like Isaac enjoy their own special, everyday moments through the brand's ninth annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. Participating Chili's restaurants nationwide and in Puerto Rico are joining in the fight against childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month and through Sept. 26, Chili's guests can help the cause by donating at their local restaurants and online.

Last year, Chili's guests and team members raised $5.1 million for St. Jude. To date, the Create-A-Pepper campaign has helped Chili's donate more than $41 million, progressing toward the brand's 10-year goal to donate $50 million to the hospital. Once completed, this extraordinary commitment will be the largest donation from a single-partner campaign in St. Jude history.

"The Chili's Create-A-Pepper campaign is one of the most exciting fundraising programs that benefit St. Jude each year," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Chili's longstanding support of St. Jude helps us ensure that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, and that more patients are able to celebrate the everyday moments – both big and small – that make life special."

"There's a sense of pride knowing our continued commitment through our Create-A-Pepper campaign brings a smile back to a child's face and provides comfort to families impacted by childhood cancer," said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "Every September, our team members and guests generously give back to our friends at St. Jude; further supporting the hospital's pioneering research and helping to create the everyday moments we all take for granted."

Chili's guests can participate in the Create-A-Pepper campaign in the following ways:

  • Make a donation to St. Jude and receive a signature chili pepper coloring sheet. Decorated sheets are displayed in restaurants throughout September;
  • Buy a Create-A-Pepper Zipper Pull for only $4*;
  • Purchase a Create-A-Pepper T-shirt for $12*; and
  • Dine at Chili's on Donate Profits Day – Monday, Sept. 24 – when 100 percent of net profits from participating restaurants nationwide will go to St. Jude. 

*at least 45 percent of the purchase price of each zipper pull and T-shirt sold will be donated to St. Jude.

There are several new ways for guests to become involved with this year's campaign, including the Create-A-Pepper Zipper Pull, which comes in a package with three mini markers so guests can design and clip onto backpacks or duffle bag zippers, belt loops or key rings.

Also added this year is Chili's Post-A-Pepper contest, where guests are encouraged to post pictures to Chili's Facebook page of their decorated coloring sheets, T-shirts and zipper pulls, along with a photo caption of what St. Jude means to them. One grand prize winner and their guest will receive an all-expense paid trip to visit the St. Jude campus in Memphis, Tenn. Other prizes include St. Jude gift bags and daily drawings for Chili's gift cards. Now through Sept. 16, guests may participate in the Post-A-Pepper contest by clicking "Like" on the brand's Facebook page and showing off their creativity. Additional information about Post-A-Pepper, including official rules, is located on the Create-A-Pepper website ( on the "Post-A-Pepper" tab.

Again, this year Chili's is utilizing email and social media to provide guests more ways to donate and stay informed during the Create-A-Pepper campaign. Guests can:

  • Visit the Create-A-Pepper website and create a digital coloring sheet to post and share with friends and family;
  • Sign up for Chili's Email Club to receive exclusive offers, including insider information about the campaign;
  • Receive a calendar reminder to dine in-restaurants on Donate Profits Day through Chili's Email Club and the Create-A-Pepper website;
  • Stay informed about the Create-A-Pepper campaign by becoming a fan on Facebook (;
  • Visit the new Create-A-Pepper Board on Pinterest ( for patient biographies and campaign-related pictures; and 
  • Follow Chili's on Twitter ( and use the campaign hashtags, #CreateAPepper and #DonateProfitsDay, to show  support for St. Jude!

To learn more or make a donation online to the campaign, visit

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting or following us on and

About Chili's Grill & Bar

Chili's Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili's offers a fun, energetic atmosphere and a distinct, fresh mix of grilled American favorites at more than 1,500 locations in 32 countries and two territories. Brinker's wholly-owned restaurant brands include Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill®. Follow news about Chili's on Facebook at, @Chilis on Twitter and on YouTube at For more information, please visit

About Create-A-Pepper

Each September during National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Chili's® Grill & Bar kicks off a nationwide fundraiser for longtime charitable partner, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® in an effort to raise $50 million in 10 years to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. Throughout the Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign, guests at locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico can help support the lifesaving work of St. Jude through several in-restaurant, digital and interactive promotions. For additional information about the campaign, please visit  

Editor's note: Electronic press kit containing downloadable, high-res images and videos, patients' stories, Chili's and all campaign-related press materials can be found at

SOURCE Chili's Grill & Bar

For further information: Angela Richmond, ALSAC/St. Jude, +1-901-578-6658,; or Maureen Locus, Chili's Grill & Bar, Media Hotline: 1-800-775-7290,