BURGER joint Grill’d’s recent withdrawal to support a local pro-life organisation has been nothing but “God working mysteriously” for Cherish Life Queensland state president Teresa Martin.
Less than 24 hours after Grill’d pulled Cherish Life Queensland from their monthly charity campaign, the Toowong-based anti-abortion group received a “large among of donations” from “indignant” pro-life supporters around Australia.
Grill’d’s ‘Local Matters’ campaign gives $500 between any three approved local charities each month, and customers are invited to vote which organisation gets the top prize of $300 by placing a bottle top in a jar. Although the Toowong restaurant approved Cherish Life Queensland for the June campaign, owner Simon Crowe retracted their entry by June 9.
In an “apology” statement to 612 ABC Brisbane on June 10, Mr Crowe said Grill’d as an organisation was “pro-choice” and could not support Cherish Life Queensland.
Cherish Life Queensland state president said the overwhelming national support had exceeded the group’s normal donations and the prize money that would have been offered by Grill’d.
“We’re stoked,” Ms Martin said.
“We’ve had people from Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania who have never heard of us call us up and send in emails offering their support.
“We are more than happy with the large amount of donations.”
Ms Martin said Cherish Life Queensland had more coverage than the group could have afforded since Mr Crowe’s decision to end their participation in the campaign.
She said one donor, a man who has recently returned to the Catholic faith and encouraged by Cherish Life Queensland, said he “fully embraced life now”.
A Cherish Life Queensland supporter posted a photo of the Grill’d jar on their personal Facebook and said it was “hijacked” by an outraged Brisbane university “women’s group”. Following several comments about Grill’d’s approval to publicly support Cherish Life, owner Simon Crowe pulled Cherish Life Queensland from their Local Matters campaign because of their “anti-choice” stance.
The Cherish Life Queensland jar stated the group promoted educational foetal development models for students.
A Grill’d spokesman said Mr Crowe personally believed in individuals having a choice and could not support Cherish Life Queensland because it is not in line with their values.
Ms Martin said Grill’d were in their rights to end support for Cherish Life Queensland but debated whether Mr Crowe could “speak on behalf of all staff and customers”.
Ms Martin said a Grill’d spokeswoman told her they would “not be reinstated” even with a petition signed by 1000 people.
“This is an issue of life and death, and we’re choosing life,” Ms Martin said.
Ms Martin encouraged pro-life supporters to express concerns on the pro-life “censorship” to Mr Crowe.