The best type of philanthropy is the kind that makes you forget you are giving back. Case in point: bowling at a charity event at Lucky Strike. The company has a long history of charitable work, but with the recent acquisition of Romy Mehlman, VP of marketing, it plans to ramp up its efforts even more—and that includes reaching out to the LGBT community. We spoke to Romy about her new role at Lucky Strike and how the company partners with various charities in a fun atmosphere.
How did you first get involved in charitable work?
I’ve always been interested in giving back since I was little. But really, my charitable work started in a professional manner when I started working at Hard Rock International as its director of marketing for the western region about eight years ago. I always tried to tie in various philanthropic causes with the events I did with Hard Rock. It was my opportunity to give back in a meaningful way. For example, one of the initiatives I worked on was Hard Rock’s partnership with Musicians on Call, which is a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in health care facilities. It’s still an organization I’m passionate about working with.
Are you planning to bring organizations that are important to you into Lucky Strike?
Yes. When I was at Hard Rock, Pinktober was a program we were involved with every year. We raised a lot of money for various breast cancer charities, mainly BCRF, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. At Lucky Strike, I’m really pleased to continue to work with breast cancer–related charities and causes. Our company has an excellent relationship with BreastCancer.org, which is dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete and up-to-date information about breast cancer. Lucky Strike has hosted previous fundraising events in which we raised more than $1.8 million. Our partnership with them continues to grow.
Why is Lucky Strike upping its dedication to philanthropy?
Lucky Strike has always been committed to philanthropy, but with me coming in and taking over marketing, that’s something that is really near and dear to my heart. I firmly believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to give back and do good things for people. Our CEO is also incredibly passionate. One of my primary goals here is to tie in our global and localized marketing initiatives with causes that mean something not only to myself and our CEO, but to others in the organization. Everybody from the top down.
Why do you think it is important to give back?
It’s everybody’s responsibility to give back. If everybody could give back in some way, it goes a long way to improving our society. In my position at Lucky Strike, I feel like it’s on me to give back even more and show leadership within the community. I think it’s so important for those who found personal or career success like myself to leverage that success and either shine the spotlight on important causes or donate time or money. Whatever you can do.
Tell us about how Lucky Strike reaches out to the LGBT community.
Lucky Strike plans on hosting events for the LGBTQ community in our venues, whether it’s a networking mixer for professionals, a venue for organizational meetings, speaker events or charity events. It’s something I’m actively working on. Lucky Strike truly prides itself on being a gay-friendly company, which is one of the things that drew me to this company. We want to make sure people know it is a welcoming place for people from any background. People can feel comfortable being themselves whether they’re coming in to bowl, eat, drink or play billiards. I encourage people to reach out to me if they have ideas for hosting charity events or they want to talk about initiatives to take place at our venues.
You and your wife have young twin boys. How do you give back as a family?
Well, time is limited now. My wife started the first citywide concept of a dance marathon for children’s miracle network in Chicago. She and her friends organized the first one and raised $240,000 in the first year. It is a value we plan to instill in our boys as they get older. We as a family have a passion for charitable work and helping others.