The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille announced Dec. 5 the launch of its 14th annual Tips for Tots initiative.

On Dec. 11, employees of each of The Greene Turtle in Wilmington, Rehoboth Beach, Christiana, Dover, Lewes, Middletown and Newark, as well as Salisbury, Maryland, and other restaurants in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and additional sites throughout The Greene Turtle’s native Maryland, will pool tips earned throughout that day and purchase toys to donate to their local Toys for Tots drives. Since its launch in 2006, the program has raised more than $500,000 to help make the holidays brighter for less fortunate children.

To acknowledge the efforts of its restaurant staff, The Greene Turtle’s corporate offices will also contribute $500 to each team that raises at least $1,000 in tips Dec. 11, enabling them to purchase more gifts. Each restaurant’s crew will then pick a date on which they will shop for toys, which will be stored on-site until they are claimed by the local Toys for Tots chapter or the Marines.

Tips for Tots was the idea of Corlie Brice, a bartender at The Greene Turtle in Salisbury, Maryland. One day in late 2006, Brice arrived for her shift and noticed a sign on the neighboring business, designating it as a Toys for Tots drop-off site. She decided to use whatever tips she took in during her shift to purchase toys for the program. Additionally, she enlisted her fellow employees and publicized her intentions to guests coming into the restaurant to increase the potential donation. That evening, she and fellow bartender Chris Tingle raised $700 for the cause. Since then, the initiative has grown to include nearly four dozen company-operated and franchise restaurants in seven states, each supporting those less fortunate in their local communities.

Geo Concepcion, who became president and CEO of The Greene Turtle earlier in 2019, said he is excited to carry on the efforts initiated by Brice, who still works at the Salisbury restaurant, and proud of both the restaurant employees and the patrons who support them each year.

“It is an honor to uphold such a wonderful, meaningful tradition to benefit our communities,” said Concepcion. “We invite everyone to come out and dine with us on Dec. 11 — or simply stop by to drop off an unopened toy — and join The Greene Turtle in raising spirits throughout the community.”

For more, visit thegreeneturtle.com.