Chili’s Grill & Bar announces the return of its annual Create-A-Pepper program to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and this year, the artwork will be displayed in ways bigger and bolder than ever before. Throughout September, Chili’s will fill its walls with Create-A-Pepper coloring sheets and for the first time, select Chili’s locations across the country will also feature guest artwork outside the building, temporarily replacing the iconic Chili Pepper logo with unique Create-A-Pepper designs made by Chili’s guests.
“Building on the excitement of our $100M milestone reached in December, we are honored to kick off our 21st year of partnership with St. Jude and bring back Chili’s Create-a-Pepper program to continue our brand’s commitment in supporting St. Jude and the incredible work they do,” says Chili’s Chief Marketing Officer, George Felix. “This year, our Create-A-Pepper program is truly going to new heights by showcasing children’s artwork as our iconic Chili Pepper logo on some of our restaurants across the country.”
To kick off the program, Chili’s is changing its iconic logo for the first time in 12 years with St. Jude patient art outside at Chili’s Memphis (4609 Poplar Ave. Memphis, Tenn.) where the program got its start in 2002. The featured art was created by St. Jude patient Geraldine as part of St. Jude’s art therapy program that uses creative activities as an important component of a comprehensive care program during treatment.
Through the end of September, guests at participating Chili’s restaurants can purchase a Create-A-Pepper coloring sheet with 100% of proceeds going to St. Jude to advance treatment research and help ensure that no family receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Guests can use their imagination to decorate the pepper then proudly display their artwork on Chili’s walls and even have the chance for their artwork to replace the iconic pepper logo outside at a Chili’s restaurant.
To continue shining a light on St. Jude’s efforts, Chili’s has also partnered with streetwear designer Dan Gamache, known for his footwear artwork under the artist name Mache, and Dallas Cowboys running back, Tony Pollard, to create a limited-edition pair of cleats. The cleats feature St. Jude patient artwork and will be worn by Pollard during warm-ups on Sunday, Sept. 10 ahead of the Cowboys’ first game of the season against the New York Giants.
“After two decades and $100 million raised, our great friends at Chili’s have taken their incredible support of St. Jude families to an even higher level with this added element to the Create-A-Pepper campaign,” says Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “An act as simple as one child in Dallas or Memphis coloring at a local Chili’s restaurant can help make a difference for children here in the U.S. and around the world. We are so grateful for the creativity, teamwork and support of Chili’s and their customers whose generosity helps accelerate work by St. Jude to benefit more of the 400,000 children worldwide who develop cancer each year.”
The Chili’s Create-a-Pepper program began in 2002 when a Memphis area Chili’s Team Member was looking for a unique way to give back to his community. Since then, Create-A-Pepper has become a hallmark program at Chili’s restaurants and one that continues to inspire Chili’s Team Members and Guests.