Students say Papa John's broke promise to donate to charity event

The organization was raising money for transplant patients.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A group of college students with big hearts were upset on Sunday after they said a local pizza joint left them high and dry.

One fraternity at American University said a Papa John’s store in Northwest D.C. agreed to be a sponsor for their charity event but vanished at the last minute.

Students with Beta Theta Pi fraternity reached out to WUSA9 for help with the situation.

The group held Sunday’s event to benefit transplant patients at an organization called Nora’s Home in Texas.

“They help provide medical and housing costs to keep the families close to their loved ones that are going through this,” said Spencer Hurwitz, Vice President of Programming for Beta Theta Pi at American University.

The Greek organization sold t-shirts with a Papa John’s sponsor logo after the alleged verbal agreement with the franchise.

However, organizers said the pizza place backed out and caused them to scramble for food at the last minute.

It's one thing to screw kids out of a deal, but when we're trying to help other people -- people in need, that's when it becomes a problem,” Mike Brest, the event organizer, said.

“I'm upset and disappointed that a large corporation involved in the community -- located right near American University-- is treating the students like this when we give them so much business,” Hurwitz explained.

While no one at the store, located at Wisconsin and Chesapeake, would answer questions, an assistant manager referred WUSA9 to corporate.

Reporter: Are you all going to get back to us with a response?

Employee: Yes. I'm going to get back to you with a response.

Within hours WUSA9 received the following response from Papa John’s International, Inc.:

"We are disappointed to learn of this situation at this independent Papa John's franchise location. After further investigation, we understand the franchisee was not aware of this verbal commitment made by a former team member.  The franchisee has reached out directly to the fraternity and offered to provide the pizzas. In addition, we understand the franchisee will be making an additional donation to the charity to show its support." -- Peter Collins

“If it wasn't for reaching out to the news and WUSA, Papa Johns would not have offered to deliver the pizzas and to make the situation right. They were going to ignore us, and bully us, and forget about the verbal agreement,” Hurwitz said.

However, the group said the big fuss was never about pizzas but supporting an organization that means so much to them.

If you want to donate to Nora’s Home, CLICK HERE for a GoFund Me page the fraternity set up.

All proceeds go directly to Nora’s Home, according to a fraternity spokesperson

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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