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New Year’s Eve party to benefit Food Bank, backpack program

Want to shake up your New Year’s Eve celebration and make a difference in the community? It’s easy. Attend the annual West Fargo Shaker’s event and find out how.

The Shakers are a group of nine individuals from West Fargo that formed a non-profit organization in 2007. Their intent was to promote an annual New Year’s event to help create awareness about excellent causes, in doing so, raising money to make the community a better place in which to live. The group has raised over $29,000 through past functions, last year $6,000, with proceeds going to the Emergency Food Pantry and $850 and $350 respectively to two local families in need.

Shaker members include: Joel Finn, Paul Finn, Jake Lauritsen, Brian Quam, Dewey Vinesett, Mike Migler, Jake Reese, Mitch Finn and Dave Schneck.

The 2013 extravaganza will be held Tuesday, Dec. 31, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Speedway Event Center, 680 W. Main Ave., West Fargo. All proceeds from this year’s gathering have been earmarked for the Great Plains Food Bank, Fargo, Back Pack Program.

Group members felt this an excellent community cause to support. “Thousands of children in our community go without food on a daily basis. We believe that when a child is fed, they are equipped to learn, grow and imagine a future filled with opportunity,” stated organizers Joel and Mitch Finn.

The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, secures and stores food for the program, which consists of filling backpacks of less fortunate school children in the metro community with juice, milk, fruit and food for meals and snacks that they take home on weekends. Great Plain coordinates community volunteers to fill the food packages, and delivers the packages to the schools.

The program was launched in August of 2010. It costs $4.25 to fill a backpack with the items. Total cost for sponsoring a child for the entire school year is $162.

Joel and Mitch said they are pleased to be part of a group that is able to assist in this area. “It’s tough to think that young kids may have to go without food for an entire weekend. The Shaker’s, as a group, have been so blessed with how we’ve been raised that we just felt this was a perfect way to give back to the community and hopefully make those kids’ lives a little bit easier.”

The doors to the New Year’s Eve event will open at 7 p.m., with complimentary appetizers served until 9 p.m., at which time “Krome” will take the stage, continuing until 2 a.m.

Drink specials will be offered all night long, and there will be drawings for a variety of new and exciting door prizes, all donated by local businesses. Tickets will be available for purchase on an ongoing basis as the individual items are raffled off.

A number of great prizes will be among the evening raffle items, including a Liquor Wagon filled with just what its name implies, a iPad Mini Retinal, a Blackberry Tablet, Hand Carved Bison, Fargo Force tickets, Coach handbag, Calloway golf set, Pandora bracelet, dinner and a night’s stay at the HoDo, Minnesota Viking tickets, as well as several other items too numerous to mention.

The Shakers acknowledge that it is the generous support of a variety of sponsors that goes into making the event successful each year, including Lempe Creative Counseling, Sign Pro of Fargo, Bell State Bank & Trust and Speedway Restaurant and Event Center, Charlotte Zich and Matt Grove are gold sponsors, with the Speedway also donating the space for the cause; Panchero’s, Planet Fitness, NCS, HoDo, Corporoate Technologies, Blow’s Sew-n-Vac, Quam Cartage, Bergseth Bros Co Inc, Marco and Jay Ray Carves, silver sponsors; and Minnesota Vikings, Fargo Force, FM Redhawks, Z Wireless, and Riddle’s Jewelry, bronze sponsors.

Similar to previous years, Bell State Bank officials will be donating the balloons for the drop that occurs at midnight, adding greatly to the evening excitement. The Shakers will be providing free champagne.

The event is limited to 500 tickets. Ticket price is $15, in advance or at the door, with the cost including the band and appetizers.

Tickets are available by emailing They can also be purchased at the Speedway Restaurant. For entire event details, visit the website at