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Diplomat Middle’s Villela among Applebee’s Above and ‘BEE’yond Teacher Contest winners

June 1, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar this week announced the winners of its Above and "BEE"yond Teacher Contest, which recognized top teachers from 10 school districts throughout Florida and Georgia - as nominated by their students - by awarding them a sponsorship check and end-of-year class party, courtesy of Applebee's.

The contest was held at Applebee's restaurants in Florida and Georgia owned and operated by local franchisee, Doherty Enterprises.

Specifically, Applebee's awarded 10 deserving teachers from the 10 school districts with a $500 sponsorship check to use towards teaching supplies for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, along with an end-of-year party at Applebee's for the teachers' current class.

Students nominated candidates by submitting essays in-person at their local Applebee's explaining how their teachers go above and "BEE"yond for their students. Contest submissions were reviewed by the local Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar team to select a winner from each district.

In addition to the Above and "BEE"yond Teacher Contest, Doherty Enterprises supports education in the community year-round is through its "A is for Applebee's" program, which was created for teachers, libraries and scout leaders to use as an incentive for children to succeed and be rewarded. The program gives children an incentive to go the extra mile to help other students, read more books and make the Honor Roll. By obtaining the certificate from Applebee's, children gain a sense of accomplishment.

For more information about how Doherty Enterprises and its restaurants support local communities, or to get involved in one of its youth programs, visit

In Florida, Applebee's is located in Boynton Beach, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Cutler Bay, Delray Beach, Doral, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Greenacres, Jacksonville, Margate, North Port, Okeechobee, Pembroke Pines, Port Charlotte, Port St. Lucie, Punta Gorda, Royal Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Sunrise, Tamarac, Venice, Vero Beach and West Palm Beach, and in Georgia: Brunswick, Kingsland and Waycross.

School districts that were eligible for the contest are located in the following counties: in Florida, Broward, Duval, Indian River, Lee, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Sarasota Counties; and in Georgia, Camden County.

Following is the full list of winning teachers and schools that received $500 sponsorship checks.

Broward County: Kara Yohan, Cypress Bay High School - awarded by Applebee's of Sawgrass in Sunrise

Duval County Brandy Whitman, Westview K-8 - awarded by Applebee's of Lane Ave. in Jacksonville

Indian River County: Lisa Bridge, Sebastian River High School - awarded by Applebee's of Vero Beach

Lee County: Sandra Villela, Diplomat Middle School -?awarded by Applebee's N. Fort Myers

Miami-Dade County: Gianinna Lombardi & Evelyn Garrastazu, Spanish Lake Elementary School - awarded by Applebee's of Hialeah

Okeechobee County: Andy Brewer, Okeechobee High School - awarded by Applebee's of Okeechobee

Palm Beach County: Richard Andreacchio, Olympic Heights High School - awarded by Applebee's of West Delray in Delray Beach

Sarasota County: Morgan Nina, Tatum Ridge Elementary - awarded by Applebee's of Clark Rd.

St. Lucie County: Kate Ploeckelman, Northport K-8 - awarded by Applebee's of Port St. Lucie

Camden County (GA): Tatiana O'Neal, David L. Rainer Elementary - awarded by Applebee's of Kingsland

About Doherty Enterprises, Inc.

Established in 1985, Doherty Enterprises Inc. operates seven restaurant concepts including: Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Chevys Fresh Mex, Quaker Steak & Lube, Noodles & Company, and two of its own concepts, The Shannon Rose Irish Pub and Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas. To date, Doherty Enterprises owns and operates over 150 restaurants in northern, southern and central New Jersey, on Long Island, as well as locations throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and sections of Florida and Georgia." (

About Applebee's

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar offers a casual dining experience featuring American fare, classic drinks and local drafts. All Applebee's restaurants are owned and operated by entrepreneurs. Applebee's is one of the world's largest casual dining brands; as of Dec. 31, 2017, there are nearly 1,970 Applebee's franchise restaurants in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 14 other countries. Applebee's is franchised by subsidiaries of Dine Brands Global Inc. [NYSE: DIN], which is one of the world's largest full-service restaurant companies.



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