Maxine DeHart’s Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast has now raised $1 million for the United Way over the past 21 years.
Thursday's fundraisers was a grand return for DeHart, with the 2018 drive-thru supposed to be her last.
But Dehart says the pandemic put a lot of people and charities in difficult situations that needed help. When asked to return, DeHart couldn’t refuse.
“It was fantastic," she said. "The community came through big time to support it after the three year hiatus that we had. It was absolutely incredible. Between the sponsors, the volunteers, and the community coming out, I was blown away."
The three-hour fundraiser outside the Ramada Hotel raised over $50,000, but DeHart says it’s likely the grand total will soon climb past $60,000.
“We’re going to be over $60,000. When we quit it was at $59,100… but we always receive money for a few days afterwards. It’s very significant because this year, on the 21st year, that means we’ve gone over the $1,000,000 mark for United Way in this drive-thru breakfast in the last 21 years," added DeHart.
According to DeHart, the support shown by the community was terrific.
“My favourite part of the event is the people that come by… the people that come every year, people who have come for 21 years, but there’s people where it was their first time… that’s what I like. There were so many different people coming through. Meeting all of them… that was really, really good, explained DeHart.
“I want to thank the community. The citizens of Kelowna, the sponsors and volunteers have never let me down, and never let us down - the United Way, myself, the hotel - never let me down in 21 years.”
Reaching the $1 million mark is a good way to go out if DeHart decides to ride into the sunset as she did four years ago, but she says a future event isn't out of the cards.
“Never say never.”