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During its 30th anniversary celebration recently, Morton's The Steakhouse of Nashville announced its new partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The restaurant is now helping MAWF by granting wishes for local children and raising funds through the annual golf tournament in September. And while it’s not unusual for Nashville’s businesses to give to local charities, a couple of companies were extraordinarily gracious.

Bell & Associates Construction made a $5,000 donation to the MAWF and have committed to donating $5,000 for the next five years. After this announcement was made by Bell’s president, Keith Pyle, Francis Guess of the Danner Foundation also stepped up with a donation of another $5,000.

"We are so thrilled to be working with Morton's to grant a wish for a child," said Pat Ledford, Director of Development and Communications for the MAWF of Middle Tennessee. "Not only did we kick things off with a wonderful event, we [raised] $10,000 in our first night. It means so much to know that we have the support of these amazing local companies and community leaders."

Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc., one of the world's largest operators of company-owned upscale steakhouses, owns and operates 79 Morton's steakhouses located in 67 cities in 28 states, as well as Puerto Rico and five international locations. Though the restaurants are known for their high quality food, exceptional service and charming atmosphere, they are also known for supporting the local charities in each of these places.

In Nashville, MAWF happens to be one of the most popular and active local organizations, having granted over 600 wishes since it was founded in 2000. The nationwide foundation was born in 1980 when a group of caring individuals helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, and it has now grown to be the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 67 chapters in the United States. The help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers allows the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 161,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception.

Children between the ages of 2 and 18 with life threatening illnesses are usually referred to MAWF by doctors and family members. The most asked wish is a trip to Disney World, but in Tennessee there are often special requests. According to Ledford, Montgomery Gentry and Rascal Flatts are among the local celebrities who give their time and support to the foundation. Rascal Flatts members Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus were recently given the Make-A-Wish Shining Star award for all their help with the Middle Tennessee chapter, and another popular choice among the children is the chance to go to the Country Music Awards. So, a lot of children are also flown into Music City from out of state in order to see the sites or meet their favorite star.

Thirty of this year’s wishes are to be granted by Morton’s Steakhouse in honor of their anniversary. Other companies should note the difference one company can make for so many children. All proceeds from Morton’s event and the fall golf tournament go to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. For more information about Make-A-wish visit:, or the Middle Tennessee foundation at / Issue 88 - September 2240
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