Dutch Bros brings community together to support finding cure for ALS
Friday, May 11 marked Dutch Bros’ 12th annual Drink One for Dane fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Each of the over 300 stands joined forces to support finding a cure for ALS, with a fundraising goal of $1 million. The fundraiser, which began in 2007, is dedicated to Dutch Bros co-founder Dane Boersma, who was diagnosed with ALS and passed away in 2009.
All proceeds from the entire day are dedicated to the MDA’s work in providing for ALS research and family support services. The MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to funding research towards curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and other related diseases. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease with an unknown cure which affects parts of the nervous system that control muscle movement.
Every year, each Dutch Bros location gets excited to play its part in the fundraiser, including the local Davis Dutch Bros. Ryan Martinez, the manager of the Davis branch, explained how involved each location gets in the fundraiser, as officials from the MDA come to the store to educate employees on where the money actually goes.
“Every May 11, all of the Dutch Bros donate the proceeds from that day to the MDA,” Martinez said. “I think this year we raised around $1.3 million, which passed the fundraising goal of $1 million. From an employee perspective going into Drink One for Dane, we watched videos, we have a Dutch Bros Facebook page where they’ll show us posts about what happened with those affected by ALS and how ALS has affected them, and we get the crew hyped for the fundraising event.”
The disease causes victims to become increasingly unable to control speaking, breathing and moving. Those diagnosed with the disease typically die from respiratory failure within three to five years.
Employees anticipate huge support of the event due to the grave nature of the disease and the deep impact that ALS had on the franchise as a whole.
“We expect it to be one of the busiest days of the year because this entire community is giving back without even trying to,” Martinez said. “It’s an event where all you have to do is come get a cup of coffee and that’s already helping. We also have a big donation bucket; the biggest donation I’ve ever seen was up in Rocklin for $10,000. It’s pretty cool to see the whole community come together for such an important cause.”
Austin Coyle, the manager of the Dixon Dutch Bros, speaks about how excited the staff get every year to contribute to the cause.
“It’s really cool because everyone gets into it, everyone’s excited to wears their Drink one for Dane gear and wear our shirts that say ‘End ALS’ on the front,” Coyle said. “We usually staff up more because we know it’s going to be busy and we want to have good vibes where no one’s going to be stressed out by the rush of customers. We had 8 or 9 people which is double the amount of people we usually staff and it’s cool because everyone wants to work since it’s such an important cause.”
With each year that passes, more and more customers learn about the event and the turnout and excitement increases as well.
“The vibe is unreal because we get all the customers into it and they’re all happy because they’re donating,” Coyle said. “It’s my favorite promo of the year. I’ve done it twice now and it’s really cool. It’s mainly the same tradition year to year but it just gets better every year because the more people that know about it, the more people donate. We hype it up once it starts to get closer to the date. On the day of the event we serve the Wiseman Mocha, which is just a standard mocha, but we dedicate it to Dane Boersma because that’s what he used to get when he was here.”
Dutch Bros donates over $2 million every year to nonprofit organizations, with hopes to “make a difference, one cup at a time.” Dutch Bros’ Love Abounds Foundation engages its community and supports programs connected with health, music, youth and origins.
“We absolutely love our customers, and they have amazed us with their growing generosity each year for this campaign,” said Travis Boersma, the co-founder of Dutch Bros Coffee. “This event encapsulates [my brother’s] spirit, which remains a guiding force for Dutch Bros. We are truly moved by how our communities continue to embrace his legacy and all those impacted by ALS.”
Written by: Alyssa Hada — email@example.com