Winter storm hurts attendance at Free2B! fundraiser

Get Your Taste On was not as successful as past Taste of Blaine fundraisers for Free2B!, but not because of a lack of effort.

Anyone in the metropolitan area the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20 can attest to how difficult it was to get around when a winter storm dumped more than nine inches of snow on icy roads.

Despite the conditions, Free2B! Executive Director Jim Huff believes that all but one of the approximately 30 vendors were able to make it to the National Sports Center and Blaine-based non-profit organization still raised almost $19,000 to help low-income Anoka County people meet their transportation needs.

“There were very positive comments from the attendees and the restaurants,” said Huff, who was in his first stint covering this annual fundraiser as the Free2B! executive director. “The event went well. It’s just that attendance was off.”

Huff said they were “about $10,000 below what we would normally expect to raise,” but said he was very appreciative of the support from the people who were able to make it to the event.

One of the highlights was when North Country Ford of Coon Rapids donated a 2004 Ford minivan to Krystalynn Melby of Anoka.

Buffalo Wild Wings brought samples of wings to the Get Your Taste On fundraiser. North Country Ford of Coon Rapids donated a 2004 Ford minivan to Krystalynn Melby of Anoka. Attendance was down from previous Taste of Blaine fundraisers, but the re-branded Get Your Taste On still netted Free2B! about $19,000. Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking in Blaine employees served up delicious dishes at the Get Your Taste On fundraiser for Free2B! Feb. 20 at the National Sports Center. Photos courtesy of Bruce Lee Photographic Design
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Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking in Blaine employees served up delicious dishes at the Get Your Taste On fundraiser for Free2B! Feb. 20 at the National Sports Center. Photos courtesy of Bruce Lee Photographic Design

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]