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Gold Star Launches Fundraising Initiative with Community Organizations

On #GivingTuesdayNow, Gold Star launched a month-long program, will partner with four different community organizations to raise funds, awareness

Cincinnati – For more than 55 years, the Gold Star family has been committed to serving the community in every way possible: by being a business leader in the region, as well as by partnering with individuals and organizations large and small to give back and make a difference wherever needed – to protect the fabric of what makes this community special to us all.

Today, on #GivingTuesdayNow, Gold Star launched a new community support initiative to help nonprofits providing needed resources to our community. Each week, Gold Star will partner with a selected nonprofit organization to raise awareness of its mission, needs and work in the community, as well as offering a weekend fundraising initiative at all of the brand’s 75+ locations across the tri-state. Starting this weekend, May 9-10, a portion of the sale of every Coney Crate will be donated to the week’s designated nonprofit partner.

Gold Star has selected Sew Masks 4 Cincy to kick off the initiative, and will partner with the Freestore Foodbank the following week. More partners will be announced as they are finalized. Gold Star is seeking community input on additional organizations working to feed those in need or protect essential front-line workers. Beginning May 11, supporters will be able to visit to nominate a regional nonprofit to be a future partner, as well as stay up-to-date on activity from Gold Star’s give-back initiative. Gold Star hopes to continue the initiative past May as long as there is a need to support nonprofit organizations through the coronavirus crisis.

“Sew Masks 4 Cincy currently has a wait list of over 100 front-line facilities. We know their needs but we need support to make it all happen,” said Esther Kang, Sew Masks 4 Cincy founder. “Gold Star’s support will be essential to raising funds and recruiting the volunteers needed to support these requests from across the region.”

“The heart of this new Giving Tuesday is not only supporting front-line workers but the nonprofits that support them, and our community at large,” said Roger David, CEO of Gold Star. “I, and everyone at Gold Star, care very deeply about our community, including wanting to support those that are protecting the people that need it most. It was important that us that the first two organizations chosen are those working to keep our community safe and well-fed. Gold Star is happy to join in supporting their individual missions.”

Beginning today through Sunday, May 10, Gold Star will partner with Sew Masks 4 Cincy to raise awareness of the group’s mission and critical activities. Gold Star has previously partnered with Sew Masks 4 Cincy and Gold Star small business owners to donate meals to hospitals and other front-line workers at the same time Sew Masks 4 Cincy dropped cloth masks hand-sewn by a team of volunteer sewists in the community. This partnership will continue, and Gold Star will focus on raising additional awareness of the group and its work through social media efforts and dedicated email marketing to not only raise funds, but to also solicit more volunteers for the group. It will also host a fundraiser on May 9-10 at all 75+ locations. A portion of proceeds from the sale of every Coney Crate sold on those days will be given to Sew Masks 4 Cincy to buy supplies and begin production of sewing kits to give to volunteer sewists to continue making masks for front-line workers that need it.

As the PPE shortage continues in Greater Cincinnati and across the country, the need for protection continues. The masks made by Sew Masks 4 Cincy volunteers have been donated to UC Health, TriHealth’s Good Samaritan and Bethesda North hospitals, Christ Hospital, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital and the Cincinnati Police Department. They’ve also donated masks to other critical workers including at nursing homes, rehab facilities, disabilities services, children’s welfare services, homeless services and more.

Gold Star will partner with Freestore Foodbank beginning Monday, May 11 and includes a Coney Crate fundraiser May 16-17. Freestore Foodbank has seen a drastic increase in the need for its food and meal distribution services in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak as more people face food insecurity due to sudden economic changes. Gold Star is honored to continue supporting the organization as it works hard to feed those in need in our communities. Freestore Foodbank is the nonprofit partner for Gold Star’s annual National Chili Day celebration, raising nearly $130,000 in cash and in-kind donations for the nonprofit organizations since the partnership began in 2017.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Freestore Foodbank’s food distribution has increased 40%. At the same time, donations from vendors and grocery stores are down almost 42%. All funds raised during the Coney Crate sale will go to Freestore Foodbank’s COVID-19 fund so they can bridge that gap in order to meet the need in our community.

“Support from the community is vital to our operation right now,” Freestore Foodbank President and CEO Kurt Reiber said. “Freestore Foodbank had to halt food drives in March to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, we need the help of our community to contribute monetary donations so we can buy the food needed to continue to meet the increase in need.”



At Gold Star, we’re all about the chili. We’ve been serving our guests the most flavorful, delicious Cincinnati Chili since 1965 when the Daoud brothers pooled resources to purchase a restaurant in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Mt. Washington. Chili that’s always fresh, never frozen. Made in small batches every day to ensure quality. Crafted from our founders’ secret family recipe of 13 perfectly blended spices to make Cincinnati’s classic chili favorites the Cheese Coney, and 3-, 4- and 5-Way Chili Spaghetti. Our menu offers something to make everyone happy from fresh grilled-to-order burgers, gluten-free vegetarian chili and double-decker deli sandwiches to loaded French fries, hand-tossed salads and 100% real ice cream shakes – all made with the same passion for quality and flavor as our chili. Today, Gold Star has more than 75 corporate- and franchise-owned locations throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and is actively developing new franchise opportunities in the region. For more information, visit


Sew Masks 4 Cincy is a local nonprofit organization with one mission: creating and donating mask covers to front line workers who are fighting to keep us safe in the face of an unprecedented health crisis. Sew Masks 4 Cincy launched at noon on March 20th as a small idea to sew mask covers for our frontline workers and quickly ballooned to 6000 people joining the effort across the Greater Cincinnati Region within 72 hours! To date, SM4C has donated over 13,000 masks to local frontline workers. SM4C works directly with and donates to TriHealth, Christ Hospital, UC Health, St Elizabeth, the Veterans Affairs Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati Police Department, the City of Cincinnati, Daniel Drake Center, and over 100 front line facilities. For more information, visit


Freestore Foodbank is one of the 200 food bank members of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Freestore Foodbank’s mission is to improve lives by eliminating hunger in partnership with our community, and our vision is to create a hunger-free, healthy, and thriving community. Last year, the Freestore Foodbank provided over 33.8 million meals with 511 community partners, trained over 200 in the COOKS and LIFT the Tristate job training programs, and served 17,000 households in stabilization services in a 20-county service area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. For more information, please visit