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In 2012, Texas Roadhouse Market Partner, Michael Halpern brought more than 50 employees to Camp Sunshine for a day of volunteering.  Later that year, the Scarborough, Maine location began selling paper “Sunnies” as a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine.  Within weeks, Texas Roadhouse had raised more than $2,500 to support local families.  That would be just the beginning of almost a decade of collaboration.


That spring, wanting to do more, Michael Halpern saw an opportunity to make an even bigger impact at Camp when Texas Roadhouse CEO and Founder Kent Taylor offered a handful of $10,000 grants to be awarded to regional charities. Halpern’s team’s passion for Camp Sunshine was very convincing, and the grant was awarded to help with the purchase of new mattresses for Camp Sunshine’s family suites, and updated computers in the Jennifer Harrison Learning Center. Next, Halpern decided that all the store owners in his district, extending into Massachusetts, should witness first-hand how they can change lives at Camp Sunshine.  He organized a tour of the campus that would include ten Managing Partners and their Regional Marketing Director. They were so moved by the program that when Halpern suggested a fundraising initiative to raise $10,000 to send families to Camp Sunshine, the group quickly fired back with a commitment to raise more than $30,000 over the next month!


With the company’s mascot Andy the Armadillo on hand to cheer everyone on, more than 80 team members affectionately known as “roadies” arrived at Camp in mid-April. Needless to say, everyone at Camp Sunshine was overcome by the heartfelt efforts of the Texas Roadhouse crew. Not only had they completed another day of volunteering but they brought the new computers, as well as much-needed wish list items, including game consoles, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, housekeeping and arts & craft supplies, and a brand-new sectional sofa. As if that were not enough - it was time for the big surprise. As teary-eyed employees watched with anticipation, Michael Halpern announced that in just one month the ten Texas Roadhouse stores in their district had raised an unbelievable $40,000 to help send 20 more families to Camp Sunshine!


Even more impressive lets fast forward five years to May of 2017, when more than 100 “roadies” representing 17 Texas Roadhouse locations, as well as 6 individuals from their corporate office in Louisville, Kentucky presented Camp Sunshine with a check for $112,000 during their annual volunteer day at Camp. This amount was enough to fully sponsor an oncology session, giving 40 children with cancer and their families the opportunity to attend Camp Sunshine free of charge. In addition, they purchased a brand-new, co-branded van to improve Camp Sunshine’s transportation capabilities, as well as served a BBQ lunch to more than 300 campers and volunteers.


Since that time, the commitment of local Texas Roadhouse stores has been unwavering.  In 2018 and 2019, Texas Roadhouse not only continued to sponsor entire sessions at Camp Sunshine for families but made a capital commitment towards the construction of Camp Sunshine’s new lakefront clubhouse.  Even when fundraising was cut short by COVID 19 in 2020, Texas Roadhouse locations had collected nearly $50,000 in less than two weeks.  To date, stores have raised in excess of $800,000!


“We are very grateful for the generous support, passion and continued commitment of the Texas Roadhouse leadership, staff and patrons,” said Michael Katz, Camp Sunshine’s Executive Director. “The sponsorship of sessions, new van, volunteerism and their support of the lakefront clubhouse is a testament to how engrained our two organizations have become.  Yet beyond their financial commitment, the awareness Texas Roadhouse brings, and the fact that families have learned about Camp Sunshine and our services while visiting Texas Roadhouse is priceless.  Thank you for being such legendary partners!”

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