Businesses work together for Relay fund raiser

WORKING TOGETHER—Dave Parish of D.A.D.’S Tents and Dave Brickner of Ric’s Food Center team up for Relay for Life.

WORKING TOGETHER—Dave Parish of D.A.D.’S Tents and Dave Brickner of Ric’s Food Center team up for Relay for Life.

It’s said two heads are better than one, and two businesses may be as well. Ric’s Food Center at first planned a nice open house and customer appreciation day, but  has now partnered with D.A.D.’S Tents for an event the two businessmen hope will result in a doozy of a donation for Relay for Life. What started out as a simple customer appreciation day on Saturday, May 2 from noon to 5 p.m. has turned into a Relay for Life fundraiser.

Dave Brickner, store director of Ric’c Food Center, 6767 Belding Road, lined up many of his store vendors to offer samples and hoped to provide some food outdoors at the store. When he started talking to Dave Parish, of D.A.D.’s Tents and Party Supplies, the two cooked up more ideas.

Ric’s, a company that believes in being involved and supportive of the towns their stores are in, realized quickly how big a deal Relay for Life is in Rockford.

“In Mount Pleasant, the town is all about Special Olympics, and that’s what we do there,” he said of the store’s parent location.

“Here in Rockford, it’s Relay. I’ve been approached by more than 20 Relay groups,” Brickner said. From the get-go, Ric’s has been supportive of local efforts, and donates all their post-dated bakery goods to Lean on Me, a local charity. Brickner said that after opening doors at the store, the store owners hoped he would get Ric’s involved in the Rockford community.

Brickner learned about some of the biggies here, such as Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford, and supports as many as possible. Of course, he found out about Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society and is wildly successful in Rockford.

Dave at D.A.D.’s Tents is just as passionate about Relay. From the beginning or Relay six years ago he has had his tents at the event. “The first year we had maybe eight tents. The next year we participated. It was a life-changing experience.”

He is so dedicated to the cancer-fighting effort that he has ordered a $2,000 big, bright pink tent and will always donate the rental to Relay.

The D.A.D.’S Dave and Ric’s Dave decided to work together to make the Ric’s event a Relay event. D.A.D.’s is donating 100 percent of the $300 tent rental to Relay. In addition to the events for the open house, Ric’s will be selling hotdogs and pop for $2 to give to Relay. An American Cancer Society representative will be on hand to talk about the efforts to find a way to stop cancer.

“This has really snowballed,” said Brickner. “We are all really excited about this, and it’s the Relay aspect of it that has everyone so enthusiastic.”

Watch for the tent on May 2 and stop in for the open house/Relay fundraiser at Ric’s Food Center.

            Others who rent the tent will understand the point when the tent arrives. It comes with a banner explaining it purpose. It is in memory of those who have passed, in honor of those who have survived and in thanks to those who care.

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