ITASCA COUNTY — Even in a tough year for their industry, local restaurants continue to give back to their community. Dining United, an eight-year tradition, takes place every October and November. The event brings together United Way of 1000 Lakes and Itasca-area restaurants, who donate a portion of their proceeds to the nonprofit’s annual campaign.
Last fall, 10 local restaurants donated funds from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even drink sales, raising a total of $2,676 for United Way’s Stronger United campaign. Participating restaurants included Culver’s, Dairy Queen, Forest Lake Lounge & Downstairs Steakhouse, Hotel Rapids & HR Bar, The Pickled Loon Saloon, Rapids Brewing Co., Sweet Amelia’s Cupcakery, the Timberlake Restaurant, UnWined Up North, and Zorbaz on Pokegama Lake.
“It’s obviously been one of the most challenging years in recent memory running a restaurant, but the silver lining has been the support we’ve continued to see from the community over the past year,” said Chris Walker, who owns and manages Zorbaz on Pokegama Lake. “If there’s one thing we can agree on it’s that we all need to stay positive and work together through this pandemic.”
Events supporting United Way’s Stronger United campaign allow United Way to continue its work to help families and individuals in the Itasca area meet their basic needs, achieve financial stability and independence, meet educational goals, and live healthy lives. United Way encourages everyone to play their part— whether through giving, advocating, volunteering, or any combination of the three. To give generously or to learn more about United Way’s work, visit www.uwlakes.org or text LAKES to 26989.