Ethical Eating

Florida-Based Benihana Celebrates Children's Day, Supports St. Jude

We've got a lot seemingly random "National Days" in this country, from National Bacon Appreciation Day to National Eat What you Want Day. Yes, these are both real things.

Turns out we're not the only country that does this and some are a bit more meaningful and heart-warming than others.

In Japan, May 5 is Children's Day and in celebration of that Florida-based, Benihana Inc. has brought back their "Children Helping Children" campaign.

From now until May 5, any child visiting a Benihana can draw a picture of their idea of "Children Helping Children" - which is enough right there to put a lump in your throat.

For each drawing - and accompanying entry form filled out by the now overwhelmed with choked-up-with-emotion adult - collected, Benihana will donate $1 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Opened in 1962, St. Jude sees nearly 8,000 pint-sized patients every year and no family ever pays a penny for the much needed care they receive.

"It is our pleasure to once again host the 'Children Helping Children' program to benefit St. Jude," said Richard Stockinger, president and chief executive officer of Benihana. "We are committed to supporting St. Jude and their progressive research and lifesaving care of children battling cancer and other deadly childhood diseases."

In addition to the $1 per drawing donation, 100% of the purchase price of Benihana Kabuki Kids meals served on Children's Day, May 5, will be donated to St. Jude. In the past five yeard, Benihana's "Children Helping Children" program has donated more that $120,000 to St. Jude.

This year, the drawings and donation will be presented to St. Jude during an event at the children's hospital on May 7.

And if the warm fuzzy feeling of helping sick children isn't enough to move you (what are you, some kind of machine?!) then know that one winning entry will be selected from each restaurant to receive dinner for eight people.

The Benihana Children Helping Children coloring contest is open to children ages 12 and under. For more information about Benihana's "Children Helping Children" program, please visit benihana.com. To learn more about the work done by St. Jude Children's Hospital and how you can contribute, visit stjude.org.



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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane