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Ryan Chevrolet breakfast raises $10,600 for cancer patients

Billy Stanley, general sales manager at Ryan Chevrolet, delivers an order of pancakes to a waiting customer this morning during the auto dealership's creative pancake breakfast fundraiser for cancer patients.

Ever-rising COVID-19 cases across North Dakota weren’t enough to dissuade a Minot automobile dealership from raising badly needed funds to support local cancer patients and their families. But in order to pull the event together in the middle of a pandemic, Ryan Chevrolet owner Kathleen Gaddie and her store’s leadership team needed to get a little creative.

Rather than open the showroom for a sit-down breakfast for the public as in years past, Ryan Chevrolet closed its Service and Parts Department this morning, allowing for the public to enter the service drive in the comfort of their automobiles. Ryan Chevrolet employees who were donating their time approached each vehicle from a distance, took orders and collected donations.

“We read in the news everyday about public events being cancelled or postponed out of respect for COVID-19,” Gaddie said. “And we completely understand and respect the caution these organizations are taking. But we also know that cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t take a vacation because of a pandemic. There are individuals and families right here in Minot and Ward County – our friends and neighbors – who are still fighting this fight every day. They need our support every bit as much today as in any other year.”

The event raised more than $4,600 from public donations. Factoring in Ryan Chevrolet’s pledge to match every dollar collected, Trinity Health’s Cancer Patient Participation Program in Minot will receive support in excess of $10,600.

Gaddie said she is pleased to be supporting the Trinity program.

“We are making sure that all the money stays local, which is important,” she said.

Because of the growing impact the pancake breakfast had been having over the past seven years, it also was important that the fundraising continue in some form.

“We gained some momentum here and we don’t want to let it go,” Gaddie said. “I am so proud of our employees who found a way to do this.”

The Ryan Chevrolet team, outfitted in pink Chevrolet Breast Cancer Awareness shirts, prepared for 400 breakfasts. Preliminary numbers indicate that 385 breakfasts were actually served – a number on par with those served in previous years.

“We are hopeful next year we can return to a more traditional sit-down breakfast,” Gaddie said. “But for this year, in these times, we did the best we could to raise some badly-needed funds. I couldn’t be prouder of our people for pulling this off or more thankful for the people of Minot who joined us today and donated so generously.”

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