Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in River Oaks has been pulling out all the stops this October. With five charities and three courses, Fleming's is donating $10 for every $49.95 prix fixe menu to various non-profits including The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
A national powerhouse in blood cancer research, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) has an impressive record when it comes to pushing for a cure in the field of blood cancer. With the backing of the LLS come success stories like Gleevec, a drug that has helped blood cancer patients make huge strides toward recovery and remission, as well as lengthened and improved the quality of their lives.
Since the LLS's founding in 1949, the organization has given $840 million solely to research to help fund drugs and therapies much like Gleevec. Just last year alone $260 million was given to active research projects around the globe, but much of it comes right back to Houston.
"Every dollar counts, every promotion that we get is just more funding that goes directly into our pocket for national," said LLS representative Helen Oettinger. "It then gets distributed worldwide among researchers, but it's really great for Houston because we have the medical center here; a lot of it comes back here and really benefits us locally."
Some of that money — 78 cents of every dollar raised by LLS goes back to research — comes from a program that Fleming's works closely with, the Man and Woman of the Year program. This national competition pits people all over the U.S. against one another to raise the most money within a 10-week span in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors, raising almost $20 million in 2011. The titles of Man and Woman of the Year are awarded both regionally and nationally.
According to Oettinger, who is also manager of the Man and Woman of the Year campaign, this small week within the Month of Giving isn't the first and won't be the last time Flemings and LLS join efforts. She says Fleming's operating partner, Sam Governale, is a huge supporter of the special fundraising effort within the charity, and for that, she is thankful.
"We're really close to finding a cure, closer than we've ever been," says Oettinger. "Every penny counts and we're so appreciative of Fleming's and this opportunity they're giving us."