Las Vegas eatery known for philanthropy hits 10-year mark

Rachel’s Kitchen marked its 10th anniversary with a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but that’s far from the only organization that receives an assist from the growing eatery chain.

“There are so many charities that are close to my heart and are such good (causes). How can you not help them?” said Debbie Roxarzade, founder of Rachel’s Kitchen, which has expanded to eight Las Vegas-area locations.

Before starting the business, Roxarzade was a board member for nearly six years for Clark County CASA, the region’s Court Appointed Special Advocate program, which helps abused and neglected babies and children coming into Clark County’s juvenile justice system. So it was no surprise that CASA received the first donation from her business, about two years after Rachel’s Kitchen opened.

“I’ve been very passionate about that because of my own children,” she said. “I look at them and think they’re so blessed to have the life that they have. I happily donate to them (CASA) when I can.”

Friends For Life Humane Society was the next nonprofit Roxarzade sought to help. It began receiving donations from Rachel’s Kitchen about five years ago. Other recipients were added about once a year, and the company’s website now lists six organizations to which Rachel’s Kitchen donates: CASA, Friends For Life, Communities in Schools Nevada, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Create A Change Now, which teaches Clark County children to choose nutritious food, a philosophy in line with the eatery’s.

Donations crop up as the community has events or as she has a connection to a cause. When she learned her friend was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, for example, Roxarzade supported her team and added the MS Society to the list.

For the MS 5K, Rachel’s Kitchen passed out fliers. When someone came in with the flier, the MS Society got a percentage of that sale. Angela VanBrackle, community-development manager for the MS Society of Nevada, worked with Roxarzade for the 2016 5K walk. Rachel’s Kitchen gave 10 percent of sales for those who walked in the MS event.

“It was a great opportunity for us to continue to provide for the MS community here, locally,” VanBrackle said.

The MS 5K raised about $100,000, VanBrackle said.

Sometimes Roxarzade chooses a new location based on its impact on the community. The kiosk at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, for example, came about after she was invited to tour the facility and learn of the clinical studies it was doing to improve people’s lives.

Roxarzade said she doesn’t have a particular nonprofit in mind for her next addition to the list. Each opportunity presents itself in a more organic way, she said, adding that “I just want to give and help out.”

Visit rachelskitchen.com.

To reach Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan, email jhogan@viewnews.com or call 702-387-2949.

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