Hey gang, I've been out of things for a few years now because of a spinal injury and I need help from those that were and are my peers. This goes out to anyone within an hour or so drive from Colonial Heights Virginia. My daughter belongs to a USA Swimming sanctioned youth competitive swim team. It's a 501c3 organization and because of some things to keep it affordable for the membership can only operate doing fundraisers . I say this because it's the least expensive team in the Richmond area as well as the smallest. It's fees and membership dues are kept this way because most of the families that comprise the ranks are shift workers, lower level managers and single parents trying to provide an opportunity for their children in a non contact competitive sport. Our normal fundraising effortss are through Bingo but unfortunately those revenues are down almost 50% from even 3 years ago and they have decided to try this Pasta Dinner as a fundraiser. As a team we have had one very notable swimmer throughout the years.....Ms Whitney Hedgepeth. She swam for VACS and while there Ms Hedgepeth went on to the Olympics. She competed in the 1988 games and then in the 1996 Atlanta games won 2 Silver Medals and a Gold Medal. Our program suffered a couple setbacks over the years but has been being rebuilt for the past 5 years and is now even sending swimmers to the Collegiate level earning scholarships for schools like The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Anyhow.......for some reason I thought I would ask if the organization ever thought of doing a Pasta dinner fundraiser. DOOHHH!!!!!!!!! It's been seven years since I have done anything in the kitchen and somehow I ended up as the Chairman of the Committee. Again......DOOHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Well being the type of person I am I am making it my responsibility to handle this as if i never missed a day. I'm just taking my meds by the handful to keep going. Double DOOHHH!!!!! We started out by niot even being able to find a site. Every local Church from Baptist to United Methodist flat out refused to allow us to rent their facilities for a fundraiser. Now that we finally found a site, a local Optimist Club, I'm beginning to have issues with vendors. I am basically down to one right now and I have been trying to get prices out of the guy. He's a Territorial manager with US Foods and sent me an email last night saying that he would rather have me blindly place my order and he'll provide me with the best price. Kind of like sign here and I'll tell you what you owe me. I did receiev a price list this afternoon and even after explaining the situation and hoping for his best prices.....I can do better at Sams on more than half the list and we're talking close to 150 pieces for the total order. I thought at the least he could give me was provide prefered pricing since we are a Charitable Organization. Other vendors like Pepsi and Coca Cola have flat out refused to sell to us and we're talking close to 100 cases of everything form cola to water. They say it's because our organization doesn't have a permanent address and we won't be buying anything the following week or month....only bi-yearly for this event. At least Pepsi has a Donations review board but I haven't heard anything since I submitted the request on the 16th. I've given up on Sysco but even some of the prices the rep provided for them are anywhere from 5-30 bucks cheaper than US Foods and that with Sysco not providing a break at all plus I get held to minimums and something that might be an issue if I have to split the order. In all seriousness I don't understand why there is such a lack of support on the local or even the national level. The only businesses to step up and help don't have anything to do with food nor contributed food and the only food business to provide any assistance was Barilla with a donation of 100lbs of pasta or about half what we will need. They do have a maximum amount because of the number of donation requests they receive so I understand this. Anyhow, because of the weight placed on this event I need some help with the purchase of enough food to feed between 700-1000 people. I have the use of U-haul donated by our local dealer and can get volunteers to help move product if anyone can piggyback this order. I would consider it a serious personal favor and do whatever I could to help you out in return. I don't know where else to turn so anyone in the area of me please PM me and I'll set up a line of communication. If anyone is willing to help out in any way.....I will provide, upon serious request, a Letter of Intent for the fundraiser as well as our Determination letter. These are things I know are needed to provide assistance to organizations like us with taxes and such. That's the thing.....any donations to us are tax deductable. The event is November 12th and I'm running out of time. I will come to you to talk if that's what it takes. Also if there is anyone among the professional ranks that is willing to help pull off the event.......right now I am the only person with experience and because of site schedules we can only have the kitchen on the day of the event. That means we have to pull of a regular Friday night for an 80k store with a gimpy former exec doing most of the cooking I just don't know how the heck this is going to work. This goes without saying but if anyone close to or in Richmond can spare a day and evening........................I would be deeply indebted as well. Please..... anything to help us reach our goal. Right now I have Sam's as my supplier and I know I could do a whole lot better if I bought from a purveyor. Thanks ??????????????