President George W. Bush "pardons" the National Thanksgiving Turkey named "Pumpkin" (a 20-week old, 45-pound tom) in a White House Ceremony, as he and National Turkey Federation chairman Paul Hill (left) and Nathan Hill (right) celebrated the 61st anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation.

"Pumpkin" and his alternate, "Pecan," were raised using normal feeding and other production techniques on Nathan Hill’s farm in Ellsworth, Iowa. After the ceremony, the birds were flown first class on United Airlines to the Disneyland in California, where the National Thanksgiving Turkey will be the grand marshal of "Disney’s Thanksgiving Day Parade." After the parade, guests will be able to visit the turkeys at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland at Disneyland.
After a successful nationwide expansion in 2008, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF has announced the return of the Tap Project during World Water Week 2009 (March 22 to 28). The Tap Project, a grassroots initiative to provide clean water to children around the world, invites restaurants to participate by encouraging their customers to donate $1 for the tap water they normally get for free. Now in its third year, the Tap Project will again be a national campaign with additional efforts in Canada and Puerto Rico.

As in years past, participating restaurants will receive a project toolkit containing materials that briefly describe the Tap Project and invite customers to support UNICEF water programs by adding a donation of $1 per person to their bill.

For 2009, UNICEF will now offer varying levels of participation, which restaurants determine in advance based on a minimum pledge commitment. Each level will reflect the restaurant’s goal, the materials they receive in their toolkit and their incentives. Packages include:

  • Minimum $50 pledge
  • Restaurant Activation Kit, including a Restaurant User Guide, Point-of-Sale materials (such as posters, window clings, choice of donation cards or table tents) and Server Tip Cards
  • Inclusion on “find a participating restaurant” feature
  • Certificate of Recognition
  • Minimum $250 pledge
  • All of the above benefits from the Silver package
  • Customizable Tap Project electronic e-mail to send to existing databases to promote involvement in the campaign
  • Three Tap Project t-shirts to use as part of a server incentive program (or other use of choice)
  • Minimum $500 pledge
  • All of the above benefits from the Gold and Silver packages
  • Five Tap Project t-shirts to use as part of a server incentive program (or other use of choice)
  • Inclusion in a national print ad that will run prior to World Water Week in USA Today
For more information or to become involved, visit
The Massachusetts Restaurant Association honored five people at its 19th Annual Massachusetts Hospitality Hall of Fame Awards Dinner, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, held at Anthony's Pier 4 in Boston. The individuals were recognized because they have exhibited extraordinary dedication to the hospitality industry in Massachusetts. Hall of Fame honorees are chosen by the people in the foodservice industry to give recognition to their peers.The 2008 honorees are: Steve DiFillippo, Davio’s and Avila; Brian J. McLaughlin, D’Angelo sandwich shops; Robert Murray, Café Escadrille; and Bob and Ted Rubin, Ruby Wines Inc.