Grand Lux Cafe has inherited a tradition of excellence from our founder's parents, Oscar and Evelyn Overton, whose values have shaped our culture and continue to define the character of our company today. The Cheesecake Factory Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation exists to fulfill its mission through enhancing the wellbeing of its surrounding communities (both here in the United States and around the world). This non-profit organization was created not only as a means to raise funds for worthy causes, but also as a way to unite our caring and conscientious staff members in charitable causes and disaster relief efforts.
On Thanksgiving Day staff members of Grand Lux Cafe and The Cheesecake Factory join forces for the annual Thanksgiving Day Feast for The Salvation Army. Volunteer staff members prepare and serve a very special "Grand Lux Cafe" style holiday meal to disadvantaged individuals and families coast-to-coast.
Each June the Foundation host the annual charity golf tournament and auction raising money for the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California. City of Hope is an innovative biomedical research, treatment, and educational institution dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In just eight years the Foundation has contributed nearly $1,500,000 to the City of Hope.
The Foundation sponsors staff member teams for fundraising or community service projects through a program called 'Secret Ingredients.' The purpose of this program is to inspire staff to get involved with the non-profit organizations they care about. Team shirts are provided and the Foundation makes a financial donation to the non-profit beneficiary based on the number of staff members on the team. The more ‘Secret Ingredients’ staff members, the larger the donation!
September is Hunger Action Month and we "Drive Out Hunger" with a staff food drive supporting local Feeding America network food banks. In 2010 our staff collected and donated more than 60 tons of peanut butter. In 2009, we collected and donated 266,649 cans of soup to food banks in our communities.
The Foundation supports the South Los Angeles Youth & Community Center, and has donated $40,000 each year since 2006. The Center is located in one of the most dangerous areas of Los Angeles. Before the Foundation stepped in to help, the Center did not have the funding to remain open on Saturdays. The Foundation's donations have given these children a safe place to play every Saturday.
In times of great disaster our staff has shown an outpouring of support for those in need, and has contributed to relief efforts through the "$5 to Save Lives" program. The program is based on the simple idea that a contribution of any dollar amount greatly assists victims of disaster, particularly when presented collectively with other staff members' donations. The Cheesecake Factory Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation has proudly matched staff members' contributions and collectively donated $84,000 for Haitian Earthquake Disaster Relief. In 2005, $62,000 was collected and donated for Tsunami Relief and $185,000 in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The Foundation and our dedicated donors and volunteers are making a difference in our communities and the lives of many.