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Behind the Scenes Working with RDO Caters Taters for Charity


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Every year, RDO Caters Taters for Charity partners with a new non-profit. This unique format raises funds for many deserving charities, while also exposes RDO team members and attendees to different, worthy causes in the community. Many community members are familiar with RDO Caters Taters, whether they’ve attended the event, enjoyed a pound-tato to-go, or just heard about it from friends or coworkers – but few get to see what the event is like from the charity’s perspective. Two years ago, YWCA Cass Clay was chosen as RDO Caters Taters’ benefiting charity. Erin Prochnow, CEO, talks about what it was like working behind-the-scenes on the annual potato luncheon. Great Expectations Although the YWCA team was familiar with RDO Caters Taters, having attended the event for years, Erin admitted they didn’t know what to expect going into it – including when they found out they were chosen as the benefiting charity for the November 2016 event. In the spring of 2016, a few members of the RDO Caters Taters committee scheduled a meeting with the YWCA team. “We believed we were being considered and the committee was doing ‘final interviews’ to select the charity,” Erin recalled. Instead, the committee surprised Erin and her team by announcing they were indeed the selected charity and that 100% of proceeds from the 2016 event would benefit the YWCA’s emergency shelter. “Sheer excitement!” Erin said with a smile, when asked what their reaction was to the news. “It also meant a lot to us that such a well-respected organization like RDO believed in our organization and our mission enough to choose us as the benefiting charity.” As pleasantly surprised as they were to receive the news was the process of working with the RDO Caters Taters committee to execute the event. Team Effort Based on her years attending, Erin knew RDO Caters Taters was a well-run event. She soon realized just how much went into the planning and execution of this particular event, and – more importantly – how big a role each individual committee member played in its success. “Events aren’t easy; they take a lot of time, planning, effort,” she said. “Looking back, I understood the event was a big undertaking, but I don’t think I realized the full extent of what it entailed.” Erin said she enjoyed seeing how passionate the committee was about what they were doing. From wrapping potatoes before the event to greeting guests at the door on event-day, Erin says the YWCA team felt the energy from RDO Caters Taters committee, “and that’s what I remember the most.” She especially appreciated how well-orchestrated the event planning and execution process was so that their group of volunteers – including herself, her colleagues, and a mix of board members and other YWCA supporters – could spend most of their time on event-day interacting with guests and thanking them for their support. Supporting Safe Shelter After offering a peek behind-the-scenes at RDO Caters Taters, Erin also wanted to give a glimpse behind-the-scenes after the event – particularly, how the dollars were put to work in the YWCA’s emergency shelter. “Every dollar and every donation matters,” she said. Last year alone, the YWCA provided safe shelter to 1,400 women and children, and a total of 23,334 nights of shelter. Breaking things down a bit further, Erin explained that it costs $44 to provide a woman or child one night of shelter. “RDO Caters Taters and Fargo-Moorhead community raised $70,000 for us,” she said with a smile. “That’s a lot of nights of safe shelter.” ----- Join us for RDO Caters Taters for Charity, Tuesday, November 20 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo. 100% of proceeds benefit Great Plains Food Bank. See event photos and special updates by following RDO Caters Taters on Facebook and Instagram .




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