Paola Bula Blanco
The smell of buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup greeted community members in F.A.R.M Cafe as they kicked off their annual “Match Madness” fundraiser, which takes place in March.
Renee Boughman, executive director and chef at F.A.R.M. Cafe, said the money from the fundraiser will come from a raffle game set-up in the cafe. Every day, a board is set up in the cafe with envelopes numbered 1-175. Whatever amount of money is donated, say, $5, must match the corresponding envelope number. Or, a $5 donation can be split by choosing envelopes two and three to equal the sum of the donation.
Envelopes numbered 1-100 have prizes such as gift packages and gift cards, Boughman said. Envelopes 101-150 may have a reservation for a dinner for two, while envelopes 151-175 may contain prizes such as a trip to California or Costa Rica.
Anonymous donors could triple the effect of drawing any given envelope, Boughman said. If a donation of any amount is matched by an anonymous donor, the donation amount triples, and the donor receives three raffle tickets.
This year, F.A.R.M. Cafe hopes that the fundraiser creates less pressure on the community.
“We want them to come so we can share the evening and say thank you,” Boughman said.
The money brought in from the fundraiser goes back to the cafe and is used to help it better accommodate the community.
“We’d like to up our purchasing of local foods from local farms because that keeps food in the network of our local economy,” Boughman said.
Money will also go toward equipment upgrades, because of the natural wear and tear of doing business.
The raffle drawing takes place at the end of March, before the Match Madness campaign culminates on April 2 at Booneshine Brewing Company.
The event is shared, meaning F.A.R.M. Cafe is inviting its supporters to come to Booneshine to say thank you, Boughman said. Ten percent of alcohol sales for the night will go to the cafe.
“I love that we have evening opportunities,” said Tiffany Christian, board member of F.A.R.M. Cafe.
The F.A.R.M. Cafe is a place where people can come and enjoy a meal by paying what is within their means.
“The only way the cafe exists is with community support. We have always said since the first day we opened our door back in May of 2012, if the community does not want the cafe, then it will not be here,” Boughman said.