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National Restaurant Association Recognizes New Jersey Restaurant Association Member Rod's Steak & Seafood Grille with 2009 Restaurant Neighbor Award


The National Restaurant Association announced that Rod's Steak & Seafood Grille in Morristown, New Jersey, has been named this year's Restaurant Neighbor Award winner in the mid-size business category.

Washington, DC, September 19, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The National Restaurant Association announced that Rod's Steak & Seafood Grille in Morristown, New Jersey, has been named this year's Restaurant Neighbor Award winner in the mid-size business category. The award, along with a $5,000 donation to their cause, was presented to Rod's Steak and Seafood Grille during an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award celebrates the philanthropic spirit of the restaurant industry and serves to inspire others to actively get involved in their communities. American Express is the founding partner of the Restaurant Neighbor Award.

“The restaurant industry has always embraced community service efforts, and we are proud to honor that commitment each year through the Restaurant Neighbor Awards,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. "Rod's Steak & Seafood Grille has shown an impressive dedication to philanthropy, and we are pleased to present them with this award."

"Rod's Steak & Seafood Grille has a long standing tradition of giving back and is a shining example of ways New Jersey restaurateurs are serving their communities," said Deborah Dowdell, President of the New Jersey Restaurant Association.

Rod's Steak & Seafood Grille is run by the Keller family, who took over their parents’ restaurant in 1972. Brothers Gene, Peter, and Richard and their sister Kathy Donohoe became interested in feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. They got involved with Eva's Village, a Paterson, N.J. organization that provides emergency shelter, job training, transitional housing, medical and dental care and drug/alcohol treatment. Eva's Village also serves hot, nutritious lunches to the homeless.

“American Express is proud to partner with the National Restaurant Association to honor restaurants across the country for the invaluable contributions they make to their communities,” said Curtis L. Wilson, a Montclair native and Vice President and General Manager, Restaurant Industries Group, American Express. “The impact restaurateurs have in their communities through charitable activities and relief projects is tremendous, and we hope their actions inspire others to do the same.”

The National Restaurant Association and founding partner American Express developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators and owners to make even greater contributions in their communities.

The Restaurant Neighbor Award honors charitable contributions in four categories (small business, mid-size business, large business/national chain, and Cornerstone Humanitarian). Each participating state restaurant association selects winners in their respective states that compete with winners from other states for the national award.

The NJRA represents owners and operators of full-service restaurants, catering facilities, taverns & pubs, brew pubs, diner restaurants, hotel restaurants, coffee shops, limited & quick service restaurants, institutional feeders, delis pizzerias, country clubs, culinary students and schools. Today, the New Jersey restaurant and hospitality industry includes 23,000 eating and drinking establishments generating $12 billion in annual sales and employing 311,000 people. Visit www.NJRA.org.

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