Burger joint encourages fundraising habit

Everyone will have a chance this weekend to get a sneak peek and taste of the new Habit Burger Grill restaurant, which is set to open at 1510 Adams Ave. in Costa Mesa.

As part of its grand-opening celebration, the Habit has teamed up with three local organizations — Girls Inc. of Orange County, Share Our Selves, and the Estancia High School football program — for a trio of fundraisers spread out between Sunday and Monday.

The chain, which is based in Irvine, will officially open its Costa Mesa location for business at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

But first, the Habit will open the doors of its new restaurant for lunch from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday to benefit Girls Inc., and again for dinner from 5 to 7 p.m., to raise money for SOS. The Habit's final fundraiser will be for the Estancia football team from noon to 2 p.m. Monday.

The Habit Burger Grill will be closed Tuesday.

"It's great that [the Habit] is doing this," SOS Director of Marking and Special Events Elizabeth Evans said. "For us, it's great to be affiliated with a new restaurant opening in the area and great that for their grand opening, they want to donate to other nonprofit organizations. It really shows how much they care about the area."

SOS and Girls Inc. are nonprofits based in Costa Mesa. SOS provides safety-net services to the homeless and low-income populations in Orange County. Girls Inc. strives to inspire girls ages 4 ½ to 18 years old to be strong, smart and bold by focusing on the life skills, college readiness and workforce development.

Evans said the money raised Sunday will go toward SOS' social services, including its financial assistance and food pantry programs.

Girls Inc.'s Communications and Events Coordinator Alisa Driscoll said money raised "will go directly to our girls," with the biggest need being the organization's elementary programs.

"It's a great opportunity for us to get out there in the community and get involved in the grand pre-opening of this restaurant and meet some more new people in the community who might be interested in our programs," Driscoll said.

Each year the Estancia football team has to raise $150,000 for its program, said Chuck Perry, a member of the team's booster board.

"We have a number of fundraisers throughout the year," he said. "We have to work hard for the things we need and it's never enough. Nothing is free anymore. There's some really deep costs for any program and every program is out there trying to find ways to raise the money."

The money raised Monday will be split. The Eagles cheerleaders will receive half and the rest will go toward paying for two assistant football coaches in the program.

The Eagles hope to have plenty to celebrate after the team's CIF Southern Section Southern Division opener against Los Amigos at 7 p.m. Friday at Estancia.


Twitter: @tcnshortall

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