To celebrate its35-year anniversary, Claire’s Corner Copia on Chapel Street donated 35 percent of itsprofits on Thursday to two local charities, Tent City and the St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima School.
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Claire’s patronsvoted for their favorite local charity on Facebook or dropped their suggestions in a jar from Sept. 17 untilOct. 20, the 35 days leading up to last week’s celebration. Each charity will receive $1090.30 but due to a discrepancy of the donations one of them will receive one extra penny.
Customers and staff were able to vote multiple times for their favorite charity, said owner Claire Criscuolo.
Although itoriginally intended to donate the money to one charity, Claire’s will instead split the profits between Tent City and the Catholic school.
“We thought that since it was such a close call between the two charities, it would be unfair to give the money to only one of them” said Criscuolo.
The former St. Rose of Lima could no longer support itself financially due to falling enrollment and increasing costs, according to the Hartford Office of Catholic Schools, and merged with St. Francis in June 2009 to become the St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima School.
Two students interviewed supported the charitable donation, but neither considered the initiative a factor in ordering from the restaurant.
“Claire’s wouldn’t have to do anything different to get me to go there,” said Jake Conway’11, but donating the money to charity is a “wonderful idea,” he added.
Criscuolo said her decision to donate the money was largely influenced by Claire’s tradition of contributing to society and donating 10percent of the restaurant’s profits to charity. Claire’s regularly “donates a ridiculous amount of money to charity,” she added.
For the past 35 years, the philosophy of the store has always been to provide organic homemade food using high quality ingredients, she added.
“Serving the community is as big a part of who we are, as is serving fresh food” Criscuolo said.
Among Claire’s charitable initiatives is Coins for Causes, where each month they support a different charity. This month’s charity is Leadership Education Athletics Partnerships (LEAP) which, according to itswebsite, aims to develop the strengths and talents of young leaders.
Instead of accepting tips, signs in Claire’s ask customers to donate the change to Coins for Causes.