Nationwide — August 30, 2018— Squisito Pizza & Pasta in Burtonsville, Maryland has been a favorite of the Kitchen family since 2012. With three young children, Squisito was the perfect place for delicious, affordable food with a neighborhood feeling. When Bryanna Kitchen was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away at the age of 9 in 2016, franchisee Chris Rodney and the Squisito team stepped up to help the family. Through fundraisers, food donations and financial donations, this local pizzeria has gone above and beyond to support the Kitchen family proving that their dedication to community is strong.
“Our relationship started when they were just customers. When we found out their daughter passed away, we helped provide food for the wake, set up a fundraiser to help pay for the headstone and contributed additional money to support. We at Squisito focus on helping our local community and it was a no brainer to get involved especially as this family has truly become part of the Squisito family.” Said Chris Rodney, franchisee of Squisito Pizza & Pasta in Burtonsville.
Bryanna Kitchen and her family had been coming to Squisito for years. Three weeks after her ninth birthday she was diagnosed with a very rare form of leukemia called ETP-ALL (Early T-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). When she passed away, Bryanna’s mom reached out to Squisito to cater the celebration of life and the Squisito team has been helping ever since.
“Squisito became our favorite family restaurant quickly. All my kids loved it, especially Bryanna. She always described where she wanted to eat based on the food and her favorite food at Squisito was the carbonara; she would always ask to go to the place with the ‘bacon pasta’. After Bryanna passed, we founded ‘Bryanna’s Love’ in her honor so we could help families going through a similar experience. My goal is to spread the love that Bryanna embodied.
“We hosted a fundraiser at Squisito to help pay for her headstone in the Fall of 2016 and are still working with Squisito today to help raise money for our foundation and our family walk/ run we are hosting on September 8, 2018.
“Squisito has given us so many wonderful memories. It really is not just food, it’s family, it’s love.” Said Kristena Kitchen, Bryanna’s mom.
Kristena founded Bryanna’s Love in honor of Bryanna. Their mission is split into three programs. The “Give Kids a Snuggle” program focuses on helping children battling cancer by offering them blankets and snuggly stuffed animals; the “Sibling Love” program helps fund a respite trip for siblings and parents within a year of their loss; and the “Funding Cancer Research” program is dedicated to helping fund ETP-ALL research.
Squisito of Burtonsville has hosted multiple fundraisers to help raise money for the family personally and for the foundation. Bryanna’s Love is hosting a walk/run to raise money for the foundation’s three programs. The walk has its own Facebook event and is scheduled to be on September 8, 2018 starting at 9am at Granville Gude Park and Laurel Lakes in Laurel, MD. All participants are encouraged to sign up online in advance at https://runsignup.com/Race/MD/Laurel/GiveKidsASnuggleWalkRun. Those wishing to donate to the Bryanna’s Love foundation can do so online at http://bryannaslove.org/Donate/
Each Squisito Pizza & Pasta location embodies the same core values- delicious, fresh, traditional Italian food, incredible customer service and a dedication to give back to their local community. Squisito Burtonsville truly embodies this culture through their dedication to their neighborhood. Their support of the Kitchen family and Bryanna’s Love are just a few examples of that philanthropic spirit in action. For more information about community involvement with any Squisito Pizza & Pasta please visit our website.
About Squisito Pizza & Pasta
Quality you can count on, our authentic Italian recipes, high-quality ingredients, clean environment, great customer service and competitive prices are what set us apart from the rest. All of our food is made to order, from our salads to our generous servings of pasta. We are dedicated to providing you with only the best tasting Italian cuisine. Every Squisito Pizza & Pasta location is dedicated to their local community. Through Squisito nights, donations, fundraisers and team sponsorships, Squisito gives back to the community tenfold. Learn more about Squisito Pizza & Pasta at http://www.squisitopizzaandpasta.com.