'Last Ride' To NAFEM Show Raises $60,000 For America's Second Harvest
The online donations were tabulated. The pledges from riders and their contributors were tallied. When the dust and motorcycle-engine rumble faded away, the "Road To Atlanta" riders had raised $60,000 to help America's Second Harvest feed hungry Americans.
Roughly two dozen foodservice industry motorcyclists from all over the country signed up for the event, which culminated in Atlanta on Oct. 7 in time for association meetings before The NAFEM Show opened at the Georgia World Congress Center there. And despite some challenging weather and a route that took many riders through an infamous winding stretch known as Tail of the Dragon in South Carolina, all arrived without incident.
It was the fifth such biennial fundraising ride to The NAFEM Show. The first was in 1999, the "Road To Dallas." Since then, successive rides followed The NAFEM Show to Orlando, Fla.; New Orleans, La.; and Anaheim, Calif. Counting this year's results, the five rides raised a total of more than $300,000 for America's Second Harvest.
This year's event was the last of its kind. The NAFEM Show moves in 2009 to Orlando in February, timing which makes it virtually impossible for snowbound northern riders to participate. As it happened, most participants over the years were based in northern areas.
"This year's ride was such a great finale to such a wonderful event," said volunteer event coordinator Alexa Kinney of R.W. Smith & Co. "Over the past five rides, we've become a small family. And the fact that we get to help so many people as a team makes it that much sweeter. I'm hopeful that we can have another reunion ride in the future and raise more money to help more hungry people out there!"
The idea for the fundraiser was cooked up by Bill Kinney, since retired from Prince Castle, and Foodservice Equipment Reports Chief Editor Brian Ward during a spontaneous ride to the '97 NAFEM Show in New Orleans. Since the inaugural '99 ride, Kinney's daughter Alexa has coordinated every event. Not a single cent was ever budgeted for the activity. Participants covered their own expenses, and promotions and advertising were donated. Receptions were donated by generous hotels. T-shirts were contributed separately by employee-owned R.W. Smith & Co., which also over the years became a bigger and bigger cash sponsor. Every dollar ever donated to the event went straight to Second Harvest.
Towns Talk Turkey About Recycling Holiday Turkey Grease
Cities and towns from San Francisco to Newport News, Va., and Tumwater, Wash., to Tulsa are pushing turkey-grease recycling this holiday season. With deep-fried turkey still a seasonal favorite in many areas of the country, water departments are exhorting consumers to take the leftover frying oil to a recycling center instead of pouring it down the drain or throwing it in the trash.
Several cities, such as Tucson, Ariz., and Denver, are turning that waste grease into bio-fuel. At least 10 cities in Colorado, from Denver and Boulder to Aspen, set up recycling centers to collect turkey grease with plans to turn it into bio-diesel fuel. Tucson's Clean Cities Program has set up four recycling centers to collect grease that will be transformed into fuel.
San Francisco has launched an even more ambitious program that offers restaurants free grease collection service. The city's Public Utilities Commission officially announced the "SFGreasecycle" program over Thanksgiving weekend. Working with BioSolar Group, Richmond, Calif., the city is turning restaurant grease into bio-diesel fuel for its municipal fleet. The city has 1,600 vehicles that are being retrofitted to run on bio-diesel. City managers eventually expect to turn 1.5 million gallons of restaurant grease into fuel each year, says Joe Arrellano, spokesman for the mayor's office. The city also encourages consumers to drop off waste grease at collection centers set up at local Costco outlets.
For more information on the program, go to www.sfwater.org.
DQ CEO Says Chain Plans 500 More Stores In China
International Dairy Queen President and CEO Chuck Mooty says the chain plans another 500 stores in China, according to the Shanghai Daily. Mooty was in Shanghai to mark the opening of DQ's 10th store in China, a market the chain has been in since 1991.
"We want to be part of the community and part of the people's daily life here," Mooty was quoted. The company expects growth in the next five years to make China its third biggest market after the United States and Canada. China's growing affluence is fueling the growth of fast food and little luxuries like ice cream. All the units will be franchised, according to Mooty.
Denny's Does Drive-Through
A Denny's franchisee in Indianapolis has pioneered the chain's first drive-through operation. PFC Classic, which operates 19 Indy-area Denny's stores, got permission to try the drive-through as a pilot, according to owner Henry Laka.
The franchisee proposed the idea to the company because one of its stores was in a building already equipped with a drive-through window. The location also is close to a busy interstate highway.
The store will offer the chain's three breakfast sandwiches from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Depending on sales, PFC may expand drive-through to other stores or add lunch and dinner items.
New Brain Foods: Chocolate, Meat, Sex
While mental gymnastics like Sudoku or crossword puzzles may exercise the brain, a new book's co-authors say the best food for the brain may be chocolate, meat and sex.
Diet and lifestyle are as important to brain health as how and what we learn, say Terry Horne and Simon Wootton, authors of Teach Yourself: Training Your Brain. The two based their recommendations on the latest research conducted by experts around the world.
In addition to eating eggs or cold meat at breakfast, fish high in Omega 3 oil for lunch and chocolate, the authors say activities such as cuddling a baby and having sex improve brain function. The authors use a concept called BLISS, which involves Body-based pleasure, Laughter, Involvement, Satisfaction and Sex, to describe the lifestyle changes people can make to improve their brains.