First Watch raised more than $600,000 for the V Foundation for Cancer Research in its 2022 campaign to strengthen the nonprofit organization’s efforts to find cures, save lives and achieve Victory Over Cancer. During the partnership’s inaugural year, First Watch donated 25 cents from the sale of every kid’s meal sold at its more than 470 restaurants nationwide to the V Foundation’s Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer, which funds innovative research to help build a healthier future for children battling cancer.
“Just being kind is a way of life at First Watch, and it’s been inspiring to see how our youngest customers have taken this to heart over the last year, with kids helping kids – meal by meal – to power a movement to find cures and change lives,” says Chris Tomasso, president and CEO of First Watch. “We have these kids, their families and longtime First Watch friend, Dick Vitale, to thank for this outpouring of support, and we’re proud to bring the V Foundation’s life-saving mission into our restaurants across the country, in hopes that every child can live their life free of cancer and to their fullest potential.”
As a corporate partner, First Watch collaborates with the V Foundation and longtime foundation board member Dick Vitale to strengthen awareness and funding, 100% of which goes directly to pediatric cancer research grants. First Watch is also proud to continue its ongoing sponsorship of Dick Vitale’s annual gala, hosted in Sarasota, Fla., to foster additional support. To date, the fund in Vitale’s name has awarded nearly $66.7 million to end the disease.
“My friends at First Watch are rising to the occasion that this moment demands by helping fuel life-saving research alongside the V Foundation and inspire hope for kids battling cancer,” says Dick Vitale. “To beat this awful disease, it’ll take all of us making a stand and tapping into our collective generosity so every child can reach a healthier future and every family can stay together. With every meal and act of kindness at your local First Watch, progress is being made, however there are still many fights ahead of us to achieve victory over cancer. Thanks to partnerships like this, my friend Jimmy Valvano’s legacy of never giving up lives on in such a positive and enduring way. It’s awesome, baby!”
In addition to its kid’s meal donations, First Watch inspired customers during several of its local pre-opening Friends & Family events for its new restaurants to contribute and be a part of the V Foundation’s mission. At these four pre-opening events held in honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, customers were welcomed with a complimentary entrée and beverage of their choice, and the opportunity to donate the value of their experience to the V Foundation.
“We are incredibly thankful for our partnership with First Watch, and for this generous gift,” says Shane Jacobson, CEO of the V Foundation. “We would also like to thank all of the patrons who purchased kids’ meals across the country, knowing that their meal would help other kids. This donation from First Watch will fund game-changing pediatric cancer research and helps us, as a foundation, move closer to our goal of achieving Victory Over Cancer®.”
First Watch’s partnership with the V Foundation is one part of its mission to make days brighter through community-based philanthropy. Over the years, First Watch has sparked charitable support with each of its new restaurant openings by encouraging customers to give back to local nonprofit organizations during its pre-opening events. In 2022 alone, the Daytime Dining concept raised more than $54,000 for local causes such as food security, education and youth services, among others.