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Blake Van Vark Remembered In Daylong Event

Posted: Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 6:25 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS News-Evan Little

[simage=7122,max,n,center,]On Saturday the Pella Pizza Ranch held an event in memory of Blake Van Vark.


A student at Pella High School, Blake was killed two weeks ago when he was involved in a car accident during icy conditions. Chad Ver Steeg, owner of the Pella Pizza Ranch, tells KNIA/KRLS News that after he announced the event, he received much support from people and businesses in the community who wanted to volunteer. All the profits from Saturday’s sales, as well as one day’s worth of wages from each employee was donated by the Pizza Ranch, in addition to several other fundraising efforts.


Over the course of the day the Pella Pizza Ranch served a huge amount of customers, shattering their sales records. Tips kept pace as well, coming in at almost a 1:1 ratio with sales numbers. According to Ver Steeg, they almost doubled their goal, and at this point it looks like they will be able to fund the construction of three homes for the Baja 101 mission.


About 100 people volunteered over the course of the day, doing everything from washing dishes, to delivering food to hungry customers. Some former employees that attend college as far away as Missouri and Cedar Rapids came back just to volunteer for the day.


Overall at the end of the day Chad Ver Steeg said that everyone left happy knowing that they were able to honor Blake in a way he would have appreciated. An exact final tally for the event is still pending.