A typical anniversary celebration at Apollo Grill restaurant in Bethlehem occurs on a night every February, complete with food, drinks and live music – with the entire night's worth of sales donated to a charity.
This February, however, is Apollo Grill's 15th anniversary, and the restaurant has considerably raised the stakes. Rather than just one day, 15 days will be dedicated to giving back – an event that the restaurant has named "15 years, 15 days, 15 charities."
Fifteen of the restaurant's chosen charities or community organizations each will have a designated night of the month, with the sales of the charities' chosen drink and dessert solely dedicated to their organization. In addition, each charity has a business or person sponsoring it with an additional $1,000-$1,500 to be donated.
"I know their [the owners] belief is that we need our community," said Rachel Griffith, manager at Apollo Grill. "Our community believed in us all these years, and we want to give back, because without them, we wouldn't be here."
According to Griffith, Apollo owners Dyanne and Rod Holt and Patty and Tucker Lyons came up with the idea, with an interest in going above and beyond any charity event they had done before. The restaurant opened the application process up to any charity organization in the area. After receiving applications from more than 75 charities, Apollo's owners chose 15.
"It was very difficult to choose only 15," Griffith said. "All were so worthy and do so much work for the community."
Griffith said the restaurant has a goal to raise $5,000 each of the 15 nights, with a month-end goal of $75,000. The prior years' one-night anniversary celebrations averaged $15,000-$20,000.
"I think it's inspirational," Griffith said. "It's such a good feeling to work with and for people that have such a big heart and care so much for the community."
The following Greater Lehigh Valley businesses or people are sponsoring one of the charities (some charities have more than one sponsor):
Merchants Bank, One Financial Services, Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management, The Biggs Group, HMK Insurance, Boy and Girls Club board of directors, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Law, Concannon Miller, Fox Optical, Embassy Bank, Warner Benefits, Merrill Lynch, Florio, Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader Law, Todd Cohen, Stellar Construction, Boyle Construction, Patty & Tucker Lyons and Walt and Lucinda Dealtrey.
The following are the 15 Greater Lehigh Valley charities and organizations:
Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, Wildlands Conservancy, Valley Youth House-Project Child, State Theatre, Meals on Wheels-Northampton County, The Coco Foundation, Moravian Archives and the Moravian Historical Society, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cribs for Kids, Camelot for Children, Center for Vision Loss, Boys and Girls Club-Bethlehem, Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley, St. Luke's Nurse Family Partnership, Pinebrook Family Services and National Museum of Industrial History.