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Hooters Girls and breast cancer

Davenport Hooter Girls Teresa Paar, left, and Ashley Cook pose with some of the pumpkins they painted to sell and raise money for breast cancer research. Their creations and other activities helped the location become one of the Top 5 fundraisers in the company.

The Davenport Hooters restaurant has been recognized by the parent company for its fundraising efforts to support breast cancer research.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Quad-City store raised more than $10,000 from fundraising events. The tally now is in, and the local restaurant is in the Top 5 Hooters locations in money collected.

"We had a lot of generous regulars who helped us,'' said Gina Sheedy, the general manager.

The restaurant at 110 E. Kimberly Road, hosted a bake sale, a basket raffle, a silent auction and other activities to raise money.

"One of our local firefighters has a pumpkin farm and he donated pumpkins for the girls to paint," Sheedy said. Nearly 100 pumpkins painted with sporting logos, pink ribbons and other decorations were sold. Some went for as much as $100 each. 

"One thing we know is the Quad-Cities really wants to help such a great cause," she said.

The events were organized by Hooters Girl and manager Caitlin Ponce.

The company-wide 2016 Give A Hoot campaign directly benefits the V Foundation for Cancer Research and the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Fund, a grant at the foundation named in honor of Dowd, an original Hooters Girl.

Hooters raised more than $725,000 in October alone, but has raised more than $4 million over the years after being inspired by Dowd, the 1995 Hooters Calendar Cover Girl, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007.

Sheedy's said her own staff has had a few mothers survivor the disease as well as one lose her battle. "Everybody knows someone who is effected in their life," she said.

R.I.A. Federal collects food for River Bend

R.I.A. Federal Credit Union's locations across the Quad-Cities are encouraging members to assist the branches as they compete in River Bend Foodbank's Corporate Challenge.

R.I.A. is accepting donations of non-perishable food and money donations from members, the public and its employees.

Throughout February, the Bettendorf-based credit union is donating $2 to River Bend for each member who signs up for an e-statement and $1 for those for each person taking the savings pledge during America Saves Week, Feb. 27 to March 4. The credit union also is offering participants chances to win two $500 drawings.

R.I.A. also is partnering with the Quad-City Mallards by selling game tickets and fan experience packages with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the foodbank. Packets include four premium seats, a Zamboni ride and a chance to watch warm-ups from the bench.

The $50 packets will be sold first-come, first-served at at R.I.A.'s Corporate Center at 4343 Utica Ridge Road. You do not have to be a member. Call Jake or Kaylyn at 563-355-3800 x7049 for ticket availability.

Employees also are joining in by donating food, money and other activities. Just $1 provides five meals, R.I.A said.

Athena nominations extended to Feb. 17

In case you missed it, the Quad-Cities' longtime women's leadership organization — Women's Connection became part of the statewide Iowa Women Lead Change, or IWLC. 

As the two organizations unite, IWLC-The Women's Connection is busy combining forces and keeping each organization's best practices. That includes continuing Women's Connection's signature events, such as the Athena Awards on March 30.

IWLC is extending the deadline for nominations for the Athena and Male Champion of Change awards to Feb. 17. For a nomination form, go to

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or