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America’s “Most Thankful Neighborhood” Rocks Out with Gavin DeGraw and Applebee’s® Restaurants

LINDENHURST, N.Y. -- The Big Apple and East Rutherford weren’t the only New York-area communities with superstar activity over the weekend. The Applebee’s neighborhood in Lindenhurst, NY, also rolled out the red carpet for multi-platinum singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw to play a special concert for veterans, active duty military and area residents.

Lindenhurst welcomed DeGraw, the face of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement in 2013, to town Friday after compiling nearly 24,000 messages of appreciation for the U.S. Armed Forces in the weeks leading up to Veterans Day at, where Applebee’s is collecting “Thank Yous” for each of the 24 million veterans and active duty military in the United States. The concert took place at Lindenhurst High School, where DeGraw performed for a crowd of more than 1,000 veterans, Applebee’s Guests and community members.

“I loved being able to perform for the Lindenhurst community,” said DeGraw. “The gratitude they showed the brave men and women who serve our country is incredible. I feel honored to have been a part of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement.”

Nationwide, the Applebee’s Thank You Movement goes beyond the restaurant’s annual tradition of serving veterans and active duty military free meals on Veterans Day. Instead, it celebrates veterans year-round, with more than 6.7 million messages of “thanks” collected since the initiative began in 2011.

In 2013, visitors to the Thank You Movement website were directed to their local Applebee’s Facebook page, where personal Thank You messages were tallied by neighborhood and tracked in real time on the Thank You Movement website. On Veterans Day, Lindenhurst earned the title of “Most Thankful Neighborhood” and the opportunity to host Friday’s concert.

“The people of Lindenhurst really took the time to show our veterans and active duty armed services how much we care,” said Ed Doherty, Chairman and CEO of Doherty Enterprises, which owns 100 Applebee’s restaurants in four states, including the restaurant in Lindenhurst. “Veterans always have a home at Applebee’s, because when it comes to defending and fighting for our freedom, they never stop. And when it comes to showing our support, neither will we.”

On Nov. 11, Applebee’s restaurants served nearly 1 million free entrees to veterans and active duty servicemembers across the country. Applebee’s has served nearly 5 million free meals on Veterans Day since beginning the program in 2009.

About Applebee's Services, Inc.

Applebee’s ( is the world’s largest casual dining chain, with approximately 2,000 locations in 49 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Kansas City, Mo., Applebee’s restaurant takes pride in providing a welcoming, neighborhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar® is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE:DIN) brand, and is franchised and operated by Applebee’s International, Inc. and its affiliates.

About Gavin DeGraw:

Gavin DeGraw is not a stranger to the top of the charts. He first broke through with the 2003 release of his debut album, Chariot, which sold over a million copies, earned platinum certification, and yielded three hit singles: “I Don’t Want To Be,” “Follow Through,” and the title-track, “Chariot.” Gavin’s self-titled second album debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart in 2008, earning Gavin his first Top 10 album. It spawned the hit singles “In Love With A Girl,” which Billboard dubbed “a rocking homerun,” and the gold-certified “We Belong Together.” In 2009, Gavin released Free as a gift to his die-hard fans clamoring for recorded versions of Gavin’s live favorites. DeGraw released his third studio album, Sweeter, in September 2011. The album’s first single, “Not Over You,” co-written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, reached #1 on the Hot AC charts, was a top 10 hit on Top 40, and was certified double platinum. On October 15th, 2013 DeGraw released his acclaimed, fourth studio album, MAKE A MOVE which has since garnered rave reviews from such publications as Billboard, People and Entertainment Weekly amongst many others. Gavin was recently nominated for his first Grammy for “We Both Know,” the song he co-wrote with Colbie Calliat for the 2013 film, “Safe Haven.” For more information visit - twitter: @gavindegraw


Anita Strohm, 816-423-6188
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Dan Smith, 913-890-0370
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