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Making a difference with meatballs

The Breakfast Rotary of Detroit Lakes rolls up their sleeves for their annual meatball fundraiser.

Not many real Minnesotans can turn down a good meatball.

The Breakfast Rotary Club in Detroit Lakes is counting on this as they prepare for their annual Meatball Dinner Fund-raiser.

Every year the Rotary hands the event's proceeds over to a non-profit organization in the area.

This year they are providing food to the public in more ways than one because the club is giving money made to the Becker County Food Pantry.

Rotary member Ryan Ritchie says one of the reasons they chose the Pantry is because they know in March any donation they give to the pantry is matched.

"We know we sort of get more bang for our donated buck," Ritchie said.

It's been a bit of a challenge making money on the meatball fundraiser in the past, as cost of putting it all together was "eating up" much of the profit.

This year, though, the Rotary saw such great community showing in their Poles-n-Holes fund-raiser, they were able to use some of that money to fund their meatball making.

Ritchie said they will now be able to take that support and pay it forward.

"It really worked out well because now we can just donate almost everything we make from the fundraiser and not have to worry about breaking even or raising prices on the meals."

Unlike previous years, the Rotary is not selling tickets for the event, but rather taking good-will donations at the door.

While the club is hoping good-hearted people will slap some larger bills in the basket, they are setting a minimum donation of $6 for adults, $3 for children 3 and up, and kids younger than 3 eat for free.

The Breakfast Rotary Club members are rolling up their sleeves and doing the cooking themselves.

Along with the magnificent meatballs, they are also serving mashed potatoes, corn and ice cream.

The dinner is being held Tuesday, March 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Minnesota State Community & Technical College.

Ritchie said they don't really have a specific goal in mind because they don't know what to expect, but they'd love to be able to give the Pantry $2,000 to $4,000.

"This isn't for us, it's for the community, and so we hope to see people coming out in bunches."