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Press Release

More Than 550 Rita's Italian Ice Locations To Raise Funds For Alex's Lemonade Stand And The Fight Against Pediatric Cancer

7th Annual Lemon Fundraiser to Raise Funds for Children with Cancer June 1st - June 30th

PR Newswire

TREVOSE, Pa., June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rita's Italian Ice®, the nation's largest Italian Ice concept with over 550 stores in 19 states, announced its annual Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign and seventh annual partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for all kids with cancer.  Beginning June 1st and continuing through June 30th all Rita's Ice locations will encourage Guests to donate $1 for a paper lemon to raise money for the charity. The lemons will be used to build a "Wall of Hope," a visual tribute to the community's participation in the fundraiser, at each Rita's Ice location.

Since 2006, Rita's has been a corporate partner of ALSF and implemented the paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research, one Lemon Ice at a time.  In honor of the Foundation's namesake, the late Alexandra "Alex" Scott, Rita's renamed its Lemon Ice flavor—"Alex's Lemonade."  Lemon, one of Rita's original flavor offerings when the company was established in 1984, is still one of the company's most popular flavors.

Last year's Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign generated more than a half a million dollars in donations – one of the largest amounts Rita's has raised since the partnership began. Over the past six years, Rita's has collectively raised more than $3 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming the leading corporate fundraising partner for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

"We couldn't be more proud of our Rita's Franchisees and their Treat Team's efforts in raising funds and awareness for children battling cancer," said Jonathan Fornaci, President, Rita's Italian Ice. "This year we hope our Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign raises even more money for the fight against childhood cancer."

This month-long fundraiser is especially significant to each individual Franchisee, as they engage their local communities to support the cause. In the past, this has included special activities such as "celebrity scoopers" and head shavings with pediatric cancer patients and prominent community leaders.

"We are continuously amazed by the ongoing support Rita's Franchise Company has provided to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation over the past six years," said Jay Scott, Alex's father and Executive Director of ALSF. "By enlisting the support of their Guests, Rita's helps to continue our daughter's legacy and allows us to take strides toward finding a cure for all children with cancer."

About Rita's Franchise Company

Rita's Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, PA, is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 19 states with over 550 stores.  The chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard and layered Gelati as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini® creations. Rita's was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal's 'Startup Journal.' Rita's is continuing to grow through franchise opportunities.  For more information about Rita's please call 1-800-677-RITA or visit www.ritasice.com.

About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). At the age of 4, Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $50 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 200 research projects nationally. For more information, please visit www.AlexsLemonade.org.

SOURCE Rita’s Italian Ice