Drive-thru to the Max!

Madison Erhardt

UPDATE: 2 p.m.

Maxine DeHart went out with a bang.

DeHart's 20th, and final United Way Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast was by far the most successful.

Thursday morning's breakfast raised slightly more than $110,000. That's more than double what was raised a year ago.

It brings to more than $900,000 raised for United Way charities over the 20 years of the event.

UPDATE 11:50 a.m.

It was a bittersweet morning for Maxine DeHart during her final United Way Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast.

Thousands woke up bright and early to be part of festivities.

"I think we are going to hit unbelievable totals. There is $50,000 on the board, and we are probably going to get another 40,000. People are just throwing thousands of dollars at us," DeHart said. 

The Drive-Thru Breakfast was founded by DeHart in 1998 and has grown every year since. 

"Everyone said I wouldn't make seven years because the average in North America for an event like this is seven years. I would have never thought it would get this big."

"We filled 500 bags the first year and we made $5,500, and now we are filling 1,700 bags and we might make $100,000," DeHart added.

Although this is the 20th and final year of the event, DeHart says she will continue to remain very active in the community. 

"I will be working with the British Columbia Dragoons and I'm on the Chartered Professional Accountants board of B.C., and of course I'm running for city council, so lot's to keep me in the community."

DeHart was emotional Thursday morning, reflecting on the amazing support. 

"All I can say is a big thank you. You have opened your hearts and you have opened your wallets to me. I will never forget any of you."

UPDATE 8:10 a.m.

Donations poured in for Maxine DeHart’s last United Way Ramada Hotel Breakfast Drive-Thru on Thursday. 

Tom Budd made a special trip in from Los Angeles for DeHart's final breakfast, and he made a $20,000 donation to help ensure this year's event is the biggest and best ever.

Drivers are reminded to exercise patience as traffic in the area around the Ramada Hotel, Harvey Avenue between Benvoulin Road and Cooper Road, is being impacted by the event.

ORIGINAL 6:55 a.m.

An Okanagan institution is coming to an end today.

Today’s ‘Maxine DeHart’s United Way Ramada Hotel Breakfast Drive-Thru’ is the swan song after 20 years.

DeHart started the Breakfast Drive-Thru way back in 1998 when she was the chair of United Way Central and South Okanagan Similkameen.

The fundraiser, going into its 20th year, has been a huge success from the very beginning and has raised more than $750,000.

The money is used to help support those in need and is divided among some 50 not-for-profit organizations.

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