Hooters Donates $720,000 to V Foundation to Fight Breast Cancer

Hooters collected $720,000 in October by asking America to #GiveAHoot in the fight against breast cancer during its month-long fundraising campaign in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—adding up to a total amount of approximately $8 million raised. The funds, generated with tremendous support from Hooters restaurants and guests from around the world, were presented to the V Foundation for Cancer Research during the 2021 Men’s Jimmy V Basketball Classic held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 7.

For over seven years, the annual Give A Hoot campaign has directly benefitted the V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations, as well as other local beneficiaries through the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Fund. Part of the Hooters Community Endowment Fund (HOO.C.E.F.), the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Fund was established in honor of the late Kelly Jo Dowd, an original Hooters Girl and the 1995 Hooters Calendar Cover Girl.

“When we join the same team, cancer doesn’t stand a chance,” says Shane Jacobson, CEO of the V Foundation. “We are so grateful to Hooters for their longstanding commitment to funding the nation's best cancer research.”

With nearly 270,000 females expected to be affected by breast cancer in the U.S. this year, the number of women as well as their family and friends impacted by this disease cannot be ignored. Raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research is personal for Hooters, which has more than 17,000 Hooters Girls around the globe and a workforce made up of 70 percent women.

“At a time when restaurants, staff and guests are dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, we are beyond grateful to our Hooters family for stepping up and rallying for such a worthy cause,” adds Bruce Skala, senior vice president of marketing for HOA Brands LLC. “The $720,000 raised this year is a testament to their passion and relentless efforts in the fight against breast cancer.”

During this year’s fundraising campaign, Hooters guests were invited to contribute to the cause by adding their name to a personalized endowment card, attending a local fundraising event at Hooters, enjoying one of several ‘pink drinks’ with proceeds benefiting the campaign, ‘pinking up’ their check during a visit to Hooters or donating to get a special video shoutout from a Hooters Girl on Cameo. For every 2022 Hooters Calendar purchased, Hooters donated $1 toward the Give A Hoot fundraising effort

Inspired by Hooters very own Kelly Jo Dowd, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007, Hooters Girls have now raised nearly $8 million over the years to support breast cancer research, much of it through the grant in Kelly Jo’s name to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. These grants have helped fund a range of cancer research from therapeutic discovery to personalized cancer treatment to identifying stage-specific metastasis characteristics. The annual fundraising effort honors Kelly Jo and advances her mission to educate all women, especially her extended family consisting of some 300,000 current and former Hooters Girls, about the importance of early detection and prevention. Throughout her struggle, Kelly Jo was courageous and selfless, becoming an advocate for early detection, education and fundraising.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded nearly $290 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations is awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer.

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