FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dannah Hartman, Director of Marketing
November 17, 2020 Phone: 484.225.0530
Popular Bethlehem Restaurant Adds Important Tool to Community Action Effort to Reduce Disparity in College Education
Popular Bethlehem restaurant Apollo Grill announced today that they’ve raised $50,000 to create a scholarship fund benefiting Community Action Lehigh Valley’s (Community Action) Generation Next program. The total, raised in nearly two months, has exceeded their goal of $25,000. Thrilled with their success, the owner of Apollo Grill announced this afternoon that their new goal is $100,000.
Because of the good work done by the Apollo Grill, the first ever Scholarship Fund was established in September to help Community Action’s Generation Next students navigate the financial burden associated with a college education. Alongside sponsorships and donations from patrons, Apollo Grill has committed to donating five percent of food sales every Tuesday night from 5-10 PM.
“The Apollo Grill, like many restaurants, cultivates a diverse workplace,” said Rachel Griffith, owner of Apollo Grill. “We embrace each other, live for diversity, and love the fact that we have created this environment we call our ‘safe’ place. This is our home, and in this house, there is no room for hate, only love and acceptance. We are believers in social justice. This is our way to take action so more people can become educated and get involved in this overall movement for equality and peace.”
Apollo Grill’s Generation Next Scholarship Fund provides several options for students, taking into consideration that their financial needs will change as they go through their years in college. Funds include scholarships for graduating seniors who plan on attending college as well as those already in college but in need of additional funds to close the financial aid gap, emergency funds for students experiencing life-altering situations, supply funds for textbooks and essential items, and funds to support college visits.
Scholarship Fund sponsors include Hasanna Birdsong, Brandon and Garrett Benner, Keystone Canna Remedies, Cliff Lewis Experience – Coldwell Banker Hearthside, BSI Corporate Benefits, LLC, Abby Oberbeck, Nurse Deals, and The Miller Family. Emergency Fund sponsors include One Financial Services.
“Given the challenges our community faces, it’s extraordinarily impressive that the Apollo Grill and its customers rallied behind this scholarship fund, even exceeding their goal,” said Kumari Ghafoor-Davis, Director of Community Action’s Campaign for Racial and Ethnic Justice, which oversees Generation Next. “These funds help us level the playing field for our Generation Next students by reducing the financial barriers that these phenomenal students are met with once they begin their college careers.”
Generation Next is a college readiness program that was designed to correct disparities in education. The program helps underserved high school students achieve college admission, integrate into college life, and complete a post-secondary program. The program currently serves students in the Bethlehem and Easton Area School Districts and will be expanding to Allentown.
About Community Action
Community Action operates a wide range of programs designed to improve the quality of life for low-income people in the region. Those programs include the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Sixth Street Shelter, housing initiatives like homeownership counseling and foreclosure mitigation, rehab and new construction. The agency operates entrepreneurial programs that make loans and offer small business training. It also does extensive neighborhood revitalization work in downtown Allentown, south Bethlehem and the Slate Belt, ranging from façade improvements and creating pocket parks to planting trees and streetscaping. Only 32% of its budget comes from government funding, a proportion without equal among more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the nation.