Eat Dessert First - A Sweet Way to Help Children with Cancer
Eat Dessert First - A Sweet Way to Help Children with Cancer

A Sweet Way to Make a Difference for Children with Cancer

Celebrate Life with Family and Friends. 


Start an Eat Dessert First Team. 

Dine at Participating Restaurants.

April 17-19

About Us


Who We Are

Celebrated on the 3rd weekend in April, Eat Dessert First (EDF) is a time for families and friends to celebrate life with those they love, indulge their inner child, and to take action on behalf of children fighting cancer.   

Eat Dessert First is in honor of the vivacious Dana Morgan of Tucson, AZ. Originally diagnosed at age 4 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Dana relapsed for the second time at the age of 10 and was readmitted to the hospital. She immediately began building an impressive list of fun family activities and adventures to celebrate “kicking cancer’s butt for the third time”. One of the sweetest and simplest items on this list was family dinner at one of her favorite restaurants - with the added perk of being able to EAT DESSERT FIRST!  

Dana passed away in  January 2015 from complications of leukemia treatments. Her parents never had the opportunity to indulge Dana in the many things she planned on doing to celebrate conquering cancer, but her simple wish in the midst of facing another frightening medical journey has inspired them and thousands of people nationwide to celebrate life and work to make life better for children fighting cancer through the annual Eat Dessert First Campaign. Participation is easy and provides a special way to celebrate the sweetness of life by: 

  1. Eating dessert first before any meal from April 17-19, then making a donation to programs that provide hope and support to pediatric cancer families;
  2. Hosting a school or workplace bake sale; and/or 
  3. Visiting an EDF participating restaurant and ordering dessert to help make a difference.


What We Do

Founded in 2015, EDF supports 501(3)(c) organizations dedicated to helping children faced with the fight against pediatric cancer - including research aimed at finding new and safer therapies and/or support programs for families. Proceeds from EDF 2020 benefit Make-A-Wish Arizona, which provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children with critical illness.  

Despite a 7-year battle with leukemia, Dana Morgan's spirit exuded optimism and gratitude – which fueled her life motto, “You Gotta Live Life!” On the drive home from a particularly difficult medical appointment, Dana shared with her mom, “Leukemia really sucks, but it’s not all bad. ” She went on to explain that if it weren’t for leukemia she never would have had her “Epic Make-A-Wish trip” to Disney World with Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Kurt Warner.  Inspired by this, Eat Dessert First 2020 is supporting Make-A-Wish to help ensure other children living with life-threatening health conditions experience joy in the midst of their difficult medical journeys and have treasured memories to cherish along the way.


How We Help

The Annual Eat Dessert First Day Campaign provides individuals and participating restaurants opportunities to participate in raising funds for programs that accelerate research in pediatric cancer and/or support families confronted by this devastating diagnosis. Proceeds from EDF 2020 benefit Make-A-Wish, which provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children with critical illness. 

The 2019 EDF campaign raised $10,221.35, the best year ever thanks to the generosity of individuals and participation from the Tucson culinary community. Since 2015, EDF has raised over $50,000 for local non-profits working to make life better for children with cancer. 



Eat Dessert First April 17-19 and Make a Donation

Celebrate the sweetness of life by eating dessert first with family and friends for any meal from April 17 - 19, then make a donation to the beneficiary of EDF 2020 - Make-A-Wish!

Form an EDF Team to Honor a Cancer Warrior

EDF provides a sweet way to honor a cancer warrior you know by hosting a school or workplace bake sale, or by reaching out to your family and friends via email & social media encouraging them to indulge in dessert April 17-19 and make a donation to support children fighting cancer.  

Become an EDFD Participating Restaurant/Eatery

Showcase your company’s community engagement by becoming an Eat Dessert First Weekend participating eatery.  It’s as easy as 1, 2, and 3: 

1. Decide how you will raise funds during the campaign. Most eateries donate a portion of all dessert sales, and some also provide patrons the opportunity to make a personal donation (e.g. donation jar at hostess station or check-out);  

2. Promote the campaign with signage (provided) and on Eat Dessert First Weekend ask your staff to encourage patrons to enjoy dessert at any time during their meal to help make wishes come true for children living with life-threatening disease; and

3. Submit funds raised through your efforts electronically through a secure online site (click on button below).  

Is there a Minimum Level of Proceeds Required? 

Knowing that price points vary significantly depending on the type of eatery, there is no minimum. 

Is Participation Required for the Entire Weekend? You can choose to participate for one or two days, or for the entire weekend. Promotion of your eatery will be customized so that patrons know what days their dessert purchase can help make wishes come true for children facing life-threatening medical conditions.   

What are the Benefits of Being a Eat Dessert First Weekend Participating Eatery?

1. Free Advertising: The campaign will be promoted via Make-A-Wish of Arizona’s Facebook page as well as the Eat Dessert Day Weekend Facebook page. Participating eateries are encouraged to promote the campaign and your involvement via social media. 

2. Community Involvement: Participation provides a unique way to demonstrate your business’ commitment to the community. 

3. Employee Engagement: Staff of participating eateries describe the campaign as a fun event, and often express pride and enthusiasm for the opportunity to make a difference in the community. Signage will be provided for your location(s) as well as buttons or stickers for employees to wear during the campaign. 

4. Promote Dessert Menu: Eat Dessert First Weekend provides an opportunity to promote your delicious dessert options and increase sales. 

5. Tax Deductible: Funds raised through your efforts for Make-A-Wish are tax deductible.

Who Can I Contact for More Information or to Sign Up to Be a Participating Restaurant? 

For more information, click on the button below and complete a simple form indicating your level of interest, or email us at

Visit EDF Participating Restaurants, April 17-19

Enjoy dessert while dining out and make a difference for children with cancer...Sweet! Stay tuned for more information about participating 2020 EDF restaurants. Each restaurant , their level of involvement and location will be posted here.

Post Your Photos and Share Your Stories

Don't be shy! Share your EDF 2020 photos with us via email to or post them to our Facebook page,


Contact Us

Sign up to Become an 2020 EDFD Participating Restaurant or Learn How Your Company, School or Organization Can Become Involved

Find out how you can help!

It's fun and easy to be involved in Eat Dessert First Weekend! Contact us to learn more about how you can rally family and friends to participate, honor a pediatric cancer warrior, and/or enlist as an EDF participating restaurant,

Eat Dessert First - April 17-19, 2020