Thursday, March 29, 2012

Creative Fun Raises Funds

Carl Schmidt, owner of Fat Smitty's. Photo by ABC News.

I was on the internet the other day and saw a headline that read: “Diner peels $10K off the walls and donates to charity”. Well, of course, this caught my attention and I read further.

The story from Good Morning America detailed Fat Smitty’s diner, which is along Highway 101 in Washington State. It is known for its oversize burgers and the unusual way customers show appreciation. When a customer finishes a satisfying meal, they write their name on a dollar bill and tack it to the wall.

The owner of Fat Smitty’s had never taken the dollars down. The tradition started in 1985 and the next 27 years customers continued the tradition. It grew over the years until the walls were covered sometimes in several layers of bills. 

The owner, Carl Schmidt, was very humble and stated that he never thought the money belonged to him so he never took it down. When Carl was closing the diner for the season, he had the help of volunteers and some local Boy Scouts in taking down all of the money which totaled $10,316. Wow! How wonderful is that?

Since Carl felt the money wasn’t his, he is donating the money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Camp Parson Boy Scout Camp to fund a new dining hall.

This story was so heartfelt and made me smile. It reminded me of the many unusual ways people raise money for Hope House. For example, Nick Swearingen hosts a head-shaving event every March that brought in over $11,000 this year!

And on April 15th, Mama Ray hosts her 17th annual Have a Heart Jazz & Blues Benefit at BB’s Lawn Side BBQ. That’s a full day of beer, BBQ and blues – what a fun, creative way to help us raise money.

You can visit our website for details and tickets for our upcoming events. If you have an idea for a new event, please contact Libby at or 816-257-9334. We would love to hear from you.

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