Every September, in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store fundraises for Julian’s LEGO Corner, an Orange County-based charity that donates new LEGO® kits for seriously ill hospitalized children to play with while they undergo medical care at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Last year, Sgt. Pepperoni’s raised $16,000, and the team has an even bigger goal in 2021.
While many restaurants partner with local charities, the connection behind Sgt. Pepperoni’s goal and passion for Julian’s LEGO Corner, is a unique and endearing story of Julian Dunn’s friendship with Lauren Roberts, daughter of Sgt. Pepperoni’s partners, Erica and Jeff Roberts.
Lauren and Julian were classmates, neighbors and friends when Julian was diagnosed with brain cancer and had to undergo strenuous treatment. Lauren stepped up to raise money with a lemonade stand to show her support for Julian. Lauren’s mother, Erica Roberts, added, “She was only five years old at the time, but she knew how to make cookies and lemonade. So, she said, ‘Mom, I want to do a lemonade stand for Julian.’” Just that day, Lauren raised more than $1,500 with her lemonade stand and her efforts for Julian didn’t stop there.
Lauren continued hosting lemonade stands to raise money for Julian over the next few years, as well as a musical event in Julian’s honor, Jammin’ for Julian. Lauren, now in high school, has also created Sweet Things For A Sweet Cause, a collection of desserts benefitting Julian’s LEGO Corner that are available for purchase at Sgt. Pepperoni’s stores year-round.
Inspired by Lauren and Julian’s story, and with a strong desire to make a positive impact within their community, the Roberts, Hong, Frazier and Dodman families, owners of Sgt. Pepperoni’s, were honored to build upon Lauren’s efforts for Julian’s LEGO Corner with a yearly, month-long fundraiser to commemorate Julian’s strength and bravery. Now in its sixth year, the fundraiser helps spread awareness for Julian’s LEGO Corner and celebrates Julian’s legacy by bringing a smile to other children at CHOC.
To show your support for Julian’s LEGO Corner, Sgt. Pepperoni’s will be collecting new LEGO sets and cash donations at all three locations (Aliso Viejo, Newport Beach and Irvine) for CHOC patients throughout September. Additionally, all proceeds in the month of September from Pizza of the Month,
The Parma Pie, and desserts will be donated to Julian’s LEGO Corner. For more information, please visit Sgtpepps.com.