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Howie Mandel to generate laughs for a worthy restaurant cause

Howie Mandel will be playing for laughs during a stand-up appearance Tuesday at the Restaurant Leadership Conference, but he’ll also be leading the 1,000-operator crowd in an unprecedented give-back: Raising a game-changing contribution to fight cancer.

Every year, the RLC’s CARRE Foundation asks the chain execs in attendance to demonstrate their community leadership by raising funds for a charitable cause. This year, the beneficiary is Stand Up To Cancer, a program that harnesses the star power of celebrity entertainers to generate contributions for cancer research. Mandel, the star of the highly rated Deal or No Deal TV show, is one of the marquee draws who have lent their names and time to the cause.

He’s appearing during RLC Night Club, an opportunity on Tuesday night for attendees to enjoy some entertainment after two days of learning and networking. The networking doesn’t stop; it’s just set against the backdrop of performances by the likes of Bo Bice last year, and Mandel in 2012.

Funds for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) will be raised in a variety of ways, including a silent auction; a raffle for prizes that include a trip for two to the MLB All-Star game; and activities hosted within the RLC’s signature Product Gallery showcase of industry suppliers and service providers.

Restaurants are no strangers to SU2C. Last summer, MasterCard International partnered with the organization to raise funds via the nation's foodservice industry. Participating establishments generated more than $4 million in a promotion that also served to raise their traffic.

Mandel has been a familiar figure on TV since he was cast in 1982 as one of the quirkier doctors in training on NBC’s St. Elsewhere, a hospital drama that also supercharged the careers of Denzel Washington, Ed Begley, Jr., and Stephen Furst.

The Canadian native also appeared as one of the judges on America’s Got Talent.

The Restaurant Leadership Conference begins Monday at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, Ariz. The conference is presented by CSP Information Group, which also owns monkeydish.com and Restaurant Business magazine.

More information on the conference and CARRE is available here.

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