Southwestern restaurant Z’Tejas is now selling two pink drinks and ribbons and will donate part of the proceeds from their sale to The Singletons — a nonprofit dedicated to helping single parents with cancer “take the ‘scary’ out of cancer.”
The restaurant will offer customers the choice of a watermelon strawberry margarita or a strawberry lemonade in addition to a pink ribbon for $10 and the Singletons will devote their share of the proceeds toward their new community center, which is expected to open next month.
“Whenever there’s something that we can celebrate or if there’s something fun or festive that we can do, we find a way to do it,” said Z’Tejas COO Robby Nethercut. “October is known as ‘breast cancer awareness month’ so we asked, ‘what can we do that is fun and help someone in the community as well?’”
The group takes its name from Michelle Singleton, who in 2005 succumbed to cancer. Originally, it was called Singleton Moms in tribute to the late mother of four, but then expanded its mission to include single dads also fighting the dreaded disease.
The restaurant hopes to raise $2,000 for the Singletons at its Scottsdale and Chandler locations.
This will be especially helpful to The Singletons, as the group had to use some reserve money to fund the latter stages of flipping a pre-school in Cave Creek into its new community center and hub for operations.
“$2,000 towards the hub would be so beneficial,” said Singletons founder Jody Boyd. “Because it was delayed, we did have to tap into some reserves that we were not expecting.”
The hub, which is expected to open on Nov. 1, will have a kitchen where chefs will prepare meals kits for the Singleton’s beneficiaries, a living room for families to hang out and relax and will eventually have a community garden where families can learn how to grow their own produce and hydroponics.
The center is something that had been an idea for over a decade for The Singletons.
“The very first Singletons board of directors in 2009 determined during their strategic planning session that we wanted to have a community center and it would benefit our families to have a place where they could go and it would be a home away from home,” Boyd said. “It’s all about taking a little bit of the scary out of cancer,”
For Boyd, this fundraiser means more than just money.
“By bringing awareness to the mission and by raising funds through their promotion, they’re helping fill a huge void without us having the ability to do what we normally do,” she said.
Boyd also underscored the importance this facility will have for these families.
“If you’re a single parent and you have a cancer diagnosis, the first thought can be that there’s no one else that’s going through this,” she said. “The idea that the community center is going to be creating a community and bonding them together is huge. When people find people that they can relate to, that relieves some worries and stress.”
In addition to raising funds for a good cause, customers will also be incentivized by cheaper prices on the strawberry watermelon margarita.
The margarita is usually $11 but throughout October, it will be $10 and include a ribbon that guests can wear.
“We know people come here to have a good time and they love our margaritas,” said Nethercut. “With everything being pink we said, ‘let’s serve two pink drinks.’”
To further promote the initiative, all employees at Z’Tejas will don pink ribbons onto their black polos and mention the initiative before taking customers’ orders.
“We hope that customers will ask about the pink ribbon and if they don’t, we’re going to tell them about it and let them know about the promotion we’re running,” said Nethercut. “That way they will have the opportunity to give back.”
When Z’Tejas was looking for a charity to partner with, it was of major importance that it chose a local nonprofit.
“The big thing for us is that we always want to try to find a local partner,” said Nethercut. “That way, when folks are giving their dollars, it will stay with their local community.”
To be able to see the money going toward something that will provide relief to struggling families was a bonus for Nethercut and the staff at Z’Tejas.
“You don’t have to go very far, and someone typically has an interaction with someone in their life where they’ve been touched by breast cancer anywhere on the spectrum,” said Nethercut. “For us, we still want to invite people to have fun and celebrate while supporting a local organization.”