The parking lot and grounds of the Valparaiso Culver's Restaurant took on the resemblance of a small county fair on Saturday as they hosted a Grand Celebration Fundraiser in association with their "Thank You Farmer's" event. The promotion is designed to help local farming communities continue creating additional, meaningful ways to support the Culver's "Knowing Where your Food Comes From" story. The event was held in conjunction with Culver's franchising promotion throughout the year for Future Farmers of America. All the proceeds, including 10% of all sales on Saturday at the Valpo store, benefitted the local FFA Chapters of Morgan Township and Kouts High Schools. Both FFA Chapters helped coordinate the event and were on hand to volunteer. The event culminated both a month long fundraising event in the restaurant, and fundraising competitions among the employees.
"All of Culver's food products are from within the United States. The company is very conscientious of using food products that are pesticide free and that have not been chemically enhanced. The franchise really tries to emphasize and promote knowing where your food comes from." said Wendy Gates, Owner of the Valparaiso and Schererville Culver's restaurants.
Kids of all ages were excited as they had the opportunity to interact with all the animals at the petting zoo, get a high-five and hug from Scoopie and the Culver's cow mascot, ride the pedal tractors, play games and dunk members of the restaurant staff at the dunk tank. They especially liked sampling the free custard offered throughout the day.
An enthusiastic Evan Curry, Culver's staff member, could hardly contain his excitement when speaking of the opportunity to dunk the managers in the dunk tank, including the owner, Mrs. Gates.
Manning the petting zoo, Rachel Meeks, Morgan Township Senior and FFA member, spoke of her plans to own and manage an agricultural business after her high school graduation.
"Our team members here are amazing. They are always willing to come in a volunteer their time for these events." boasted Marilyn Christman, General Manager, Valparaiso Culver's. "Holding events like this is our way of paying back all the local farmers who supply our food."
"Valparaiso is a great community and we like being actively involved. It's the best part of my job!" added Gates. And actively involved they are!
The restaurant holds monthly fundraising events to benefit various local organizations in the community along with attending and participating in many local events.