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Madam's Organ Recognized with the NRA 2009 Restaurant Neighbor Award

September 14, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   

 September14, 2009 


CONTACT:  Annika Stensson (202) 973-3677    

                      MaureenRyan (202)331-5939                 


NationalRestaurant Association Recognizes Madam’s Organ in Washington, D.C.with 2009 Restaurant Neighbor Award


(Washington, D.C.)  The National Restaurant Association todayannounced that Madam’s Organ in Washington,D.C., has been named this year’s Restaurant Neighbor Award winner in the smallbusiness category. Owner Bill Duggan was presented the award and a $5,000 donationto the restaurant’s cause during an award ceremony in Washington, D.C.The award celebrates the philanthropic spirit of the restaurant industryand serves to inspire others to actively get involved in their communities. American Express is the founding partner of theRestaurant Neighbor Award.


“Madam’s Organ’s work withyoung people is commendable and truly symbolizes the spirit of philanthropy ofour industry,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO DawnSweeney. “Bill Duggan’s personal commitment to the people in his community isan inspiration to us all, and a perfect example of how a small business canmake a big difference. We are excited to present our 2009 Restaurant NeighborAward to Bill and his team at Madam’s Organ.”


“Madam’s Organ is not only a terrific place to go see live music andenjoy great food and drink, it’s also a valuable member of our community,” saidLynne Breaux, President of Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. “WhileWashington, D.C., is our nation’s capital, it haschallenges similar to any other city, including the availability of leisure areasfor children. Allowing these children a vacation away from the concrete of thecity is a great reward provided by the restaurant. We are proud to have Madam’sOrgan as a member of RAMW.”


Bill Duggan was driving home from hisbeach house 13 years ago when he passed children playing on a run-down,inner-city playground. Duggan, who owns Madam’s Organ - a Washington, D.C.,restaurant and bar in the city’s Adam’s Morgan neighborhood - wanted to givethe children a chance to be kids in a better environment. So, with the help ofstaff, family and the community, he started bringing groups of kids to thebeach for a week each summer.


Duggan believes that spending time at thebeach allows young people to just be the children they are, which can be achallenge on the inner city streets. Duggan, his family, staff members andother volunteers from the neighborhood take 20 boys and girls to histhree-building property in Dewey Beach, Del. The kids swim, fish, boat, huntcrabs and clams, and tell stories around the bonfire. Throughout the year,Duggan keeps in touch with many of the children and their families — many dropin for soda and wings after school.

The Madam’s Organ team also has an annualChristmas party for about 70 neighborhood kids and their parents.


“American Expressis proud to partner with the National Restaurant Association to honorrestaurants across the country for the invaluable contributions they make totheir communities,” said Curtis L. Wilson, Vice President and General Manager,Restaurant Industries Group, American Express. “The impact restaurateurs havein their communities through charitable activities and relief projects istremendous, and we hope their actions inspire others to do the same.”


The National Restaurant Associationand founding partner American Express developed the Restaurant Neighbor Awardto raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in localcommunities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators andowners to make even greater contributions in their communities. 


The Restaurant Neighbor Awardhonors charitable contributions in four categories (small business, mid-sizebusiness, large business/national chain, and Cornerstone Humanitarian).  Each participating state restaurantassociation selects winners in their respective states that compete withwinners from other states for the national award.


Joining Madam’s Organ inreceiving the 2009 Restaurant Neighbor Award are: BJ’s Restaurants, headquartered in Huntington Beach, Calif., withlocations nationwide, in the large business category; Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille in Morristown, N.J., in themid-size business category; and Alex Rayof Common Man Family of Restaurants in Ashland, N.H., in the CornerstoneHumanitarian category.


For more information on theaward program, as well as more information on national winners and statefinalists, visit the National Restaurant Association’s Web site, 





Founded in 1919, the NationalRestaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurantindustry, which is comprised of 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets anda work force of 13 million employees. Together with the National RestaurantAssociation Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’srestaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, andparticipation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For moreinformation, visit our Web site at