STAFF at Grill’d Bendigo will cook up a storm this weekend, as the annual Otis Gets Grill’d fund-raiser kicks off tomorrow.
Grill’d will donate $5 from every burger sold tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday to local breast cancer charity the Otis Foundation.
Franchise owner Rich Nash said he decided to support Otis after a visit to one of the foundation’s retreats for breast cancer patients, in Mandurang.
“I went out to look at an Otis property, Bramare, and I started reading the register book with guest comments and there was a comment written by a seven-year- old girl,” Mr Nash said.
“It said, ‘it was great to see mum happy again’ and at that time, I had two kids and it really resonated with me.
“Shortly after that, one of our friends was diagnosed with cancer and we saw the effects of living with cancer first-hand.”
Mr Nash said he and his family had shared the journey with his friend for the past three years, but she sadly died recently.
“Our friend just passed away and she made a comment before she passed that all she wanted to do was go for a swim, and that brought me back to Otis.
“Even though Otis is not about going for a swim, it is about the connection of going back to nature and relaxing,” he said.
“She unfortunately didn’t make it to have her swim.”
Mr Nash said he hoped the burger outlet would be able to raise $10,000 for Otis this year.
He said the staff were looking forward to the bumper weekend.
Founder of the Otis Foundation Andrew Barling hoped Bendigo businesses and the community would rally behind the event.
“The burgers are great so it is as an easy marriage; you are doing something for charity and also having a lovely meal,” he said.
Mr Barling said the money raised from the weekend would go to a range of different programs run by the foundation.
“It will go to the work of Otis which is fundamentally about providing retreat accommodation for women with breast cancer, it is free of charge,” he said.
“It is a space they can use with their families and friends.”
The foundation which began in Bendigo now has 15 properties situated around Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
Grill’d is also giving away prizes on each of the three days.
“This year we are giving back to the Bendigo community by giving away an iPad each day, plus there is a major prize of a trip for four to Sydney in a corporate jet courtesy of MyJet,” Mr Nash said.
Corporate and businesses looking to purchase their meals are encouraged to pre-order their meals and call Grill’d on 5443 1239.