Hippodrome Dine to Donate event raises breast cancer awareness

To raise money for breast cancer awareness, Susan G. Komen East Central Texas foundation held Dine to Donate Tuesday from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Waco Hippodrome. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

By Megan Rule | Staff Writer

The Susan G. Komen East Central Texas foundation partnered with the Waco Hippodrome for the Dine to Donate event Tuesday.

“I’m most excited for just a good turnout and to raise awareness for Susan G. Komen and for breast cancer,” said Casey Turner, event coordinator at the Waco Hippodrome.

Dine to Donate is an event that occurs from 5 to 10 p.m. every Tuesday night at the Hippodrome. No ticket is required to attend; anyone who shows up in that time frame is a participant. The Hippodrome donates 15 percent of all proceeds from the bar and dining room that night to the charity it partners with.

This is the first year that the Susan G. Komen East Central Texas foundation is holding an event like this.

“Obviously with [Susan G. Komen East Central Texas] hosting the event, and with the publicity they’re bringing to it, we’ll get people to our doors all for a good cause,” Turner said.

Mindy Weihrich, development and outreach coordinator with Susan G. Komen East Central Texas, is in her first year of work with the foundation. She is new to Waco and participated in a previous Dine to Donate event when she got the idea to bring breast cancer awareness to the Hippodrome.

“I love their food, and when I came across the give-back nights, I thought, ‘It’s breast cancer awareness month, this is perfect,’” Weihrich said. “The event lets us be on site, so it’s a great way to amp up our presence in the community and let people know we are still here.”

Over an estimated 1.6 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide in 2010. The disease is widespread and currently without a cure, but nonprofit organizations like this one bring hope to the cause, according to the foundation’s website.

“It’s a snowball effect, and it’s cool what that can create just by being at one event,” Weihrich said. “If someone picks up a flier and they know someone who was affected and want to do something bigger than themselves, it is something lovely to see.”

The Susan G. Komen East Central Texas foundation has helped bring publicity to the Hippodrome by telling people to go to the event, while the Hippodrome helped the foundation raise money by advertising the event to their large social media following. Both foundations provide information about the event primarily through social media. The Hippodrome alone can reach 30,000 people through all its social media.

“Paired with [Susan G. Komen East Central Texas ], we hope to draw a crowd that would all have one thing in common,” Turner said.

According to Turner, the scheduling process is quite simple, but the timelines that some nonprofits have to abide by can create a challenge to find a date to host events.

Turner encourages anyone who wants to do a similar event to reach out a few months ahead of time to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Each nonprofit charity is allowed to partner with the Hippodrome once a year, so the Susan G. Komen East Central Texas foundation could host another event like this next October.

Turner encourages more nonprofits to reach out because it is a great way to bring publicity to different charities.

The goal of Dine to Donate is to have every week of the year filled with a charity to donate to.

“At the Hippodrome, we enjoy giving back to the community,” Turner said. “That’s part of why we started the business.”