The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille announced the launch of its 14th annual “Tips for Tots” initiative. On Wednesday, December 11, employees at the family-friendly casual dining chain will pool 100 percent of the tips they earn and purchase toys locally to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual toy drive. Since its launch in 2006, the program has raised more than $500,000 to help make the holidays brighter for less fortunate children.

To acknowledge the generous efforts of its restaurant staff, The Greene Turtle’s corporate offices will also contribute $500 to each team that raises at least $1,000 in tips on December 11, enabling them to purchase more gifts. Each restaurant’s crew will then pick a date on which they will shop for toys, which will be stored on-site until they are claimed by the local Toys for Tots chapter or the Marines.

“Tips for Tots” was the selfless idea of Corlie Brice, a bartender at The Greene Turtle in Salisbury, Maryland. One day in late 2006, Corlie arrived for her shift and noticed a sign on the neighboring business, designating it as a Toys for Tots drop-off site. She decided to use whatever tips she took in during her shift to purchase toys for the program. Additionally, she enlisted her fellow employees and publicized her intentions to guests coming into the restaurant to increase the potential donation. That evening, she and fellow bartender Chris Tingle raised $700 for the cause. Since then, the initiative has grown to include nearly four dozen company-operated and franchise restaurants in seven states, each supporting those less fortunate in their local communities.

Geo Concepcion, who became [resident/CEO of The Greene Turtle earlier this year, says he is excited to carry on the efforts initiated by Corlie, who still works at the Salisbury restaurant, and proud of both the restaurant employees and the patrons who generously support them each year. “It is an honor to uphold such a wonderful, meaningful tradition to benefit our communities,” he says. “We invite everyone to come out and dine with us on December 11 – or simply stop by to drop off an unopened toy – and join The Greene Turtle in raising spirits throughout the community.”

Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Philanthropy, Greene Turtle