Elkhart Dining Days 2014 was a hit. Restaurant owners said that business was strong Oct. 17-25 and the numbers prove it.
The nine-day event at 23 restaurants and bakeries resulted in 2,770 meals sold and $4,096 raised for Food Bank of Elkhart County, the charity that got 10 percent of proceeds. Last year’s event sold 1,500 meals and raised $3,500, according to Michele Scherpenberg who organized that event.
Some places sold just a few specials, others sold hundreds. All of them are contributing a portion to the food bank and every little bit helps Elkhart County families who get food from pantries or agencies that provide meals.
The busiest restaurants were Pete’s Simonton Lake Tavern and Cappy’s. The two restaurants of Merle and Linda Anderson accounted for nearly a third of the specials sold during the event. It was their first year as participants and they were pleased, proud and weary by the time the event was over.
“It was busy,” said Mike Miles of Miles Lab. He and others also said how much they as restaurant owners and how much their customers talked about how they enjoyed helping the cause.
This was the first time The Elkhart Truth and Flavor 574 orchestrated the event and we’re thrilled with how many restaurants and diners participated. It was so cool to see people excited about eating out for charity.
We learned a few things and will make the event even stronger next fall. Stay tuned for other possible dining events in our community in the coming months.
We had a drawing to award prizes to people who filled passport cards with 10 stickers from their visits to Elkhart Dining Days restaurants.
Kendra Juarez won the grand prize of $200 in gift certificates from Pete’s Simonton Lake Tavern, Cappy’s Northside Tavern, b On The River, McCarthy’s On The Riverwalk and Pumpernickel’s.
Winners of $25 gift certificates were Ashley Morris, Jamie Wynn, Amey Hensley, Stephanie Leeling, Cheryl Schwartz, Rick Rider, Mary Grove, Sherman Hansen and Camie Schenk.
Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone who supported Elkhart Dining Days this year by eating, drinking, participating or sponsoring.