Help Pita Pit Make-A-Wish Come True

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On April 25, Pita Pit stores across Kingston will be celebrating World Wish Day with a dollar from every purchase being donated to the Make a Wish Foundation for Eastern Ontario.

The day will be the culmination of a month of fundraising by the Canadian franchise to support the charity. Since April 2, Pita Pit stores in Kingston have been encouraging customers to donate $2 to Make a Wish and have their name displayed on the store interior as a mark of appreciation.

To date, 50 Pita Pit stores have raised a staggering $20,000 across Eastern Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces, with the four local outlets playing a major role. Pita Pit, which was founded in Kingston in 1995, say they’re aiming to raise at least $30,000 for Make a Wish.

The Kingston Pita Pit stores participating in Wednesday’s fundraising event are at 108 Dalton Avenue, 421 Princess St, 500 Gardners Rd, and Empire Court at 627 Fortune Crescent. [MAP]

“We are delighted with the partnership between Make-A-Wish and Pita Pit, and thank its dedicated staff for their generosity and support of our mission,” said Chris Pon, Vice-President, National Corporate Alliances, Make-A-Wish Canada. “Money raised throughout the campaign will help create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses across the country. These wishes are much more than a ‘nice to have’. They are an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. In fact, research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness.”

Just some of the customer donation ‘stars’ covering the interior of Pita Pit’s Dalton Avenue outlet

The connection between Pita Pit and Make a Wish being celebrated this month began in Kingston over ten years ago.

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“In 2006, I was approached by a young lady from a local Kingston High School, Mackenzie, who was a recipient of a wish from the previous year and on a mission to try to pay it forward,” Marina Leos, director of special projects, told the Herald. “She wanted to grant another local high school kid’s wish and approached me to ask if there was anything we [Pita Pit] could do to help.

“The idea of paying a wish forward really struck a chord with me and it coincided with the opening of our fourth Kingston store on Dalton Avenue. So, instead of a grand opening, we decided simply to do a Make a Wish Day through which we raised money to try to help her reach her goal.

“We ended up holding a huge fundraising day at the Pita Pit store – ‘Mackenzie Day’, we called it. The fire engines came to wash cars and everyone helped band together to raise awareness and money.”

This year – with a large sum already raised through donations – Pita Pits in Kingston hope to go a step further by donating a portion of sales on World Wish Day.  Alex Desrochers, manager of Kingston’s four branches, told the Herald she estimates her stores will sell at least 1,200 Pitas that day, adding a handsome donation to the charity.

She highlighted the enjoyment staff get out of the fundraising. “The staff absolutely love it. It’s a good opportunity to get engaged in something which isn’t necessarily Pita Pit focused. It isn’t to do with the store or their sales, so it’s something nice to bring people together.”

Alex Desrochers (left) and Marina Leos (right) with Dalton Avenue Pita Pit store manager

With World Wish Day fast approaching, Pita Pit stores hope to repeat last year’s achievement by sponsoring the wish of another child from Kingston.

Order lunch, dinner or a snack from Pita Pit this Wednesday, April 25 to have a dollar donated to Make a Wish. Also consider donating to the charity when you place an order at Pita Pit throughout April, and have your name displayed on the store interior as a mark of appreciation.