Todd’s Take #2 – Charities… All About COMMUNITY
September 12, 2023
The topic of EPIC’s involvement in charities has been in the news lately. Let me set the record straight.
I grew up in a family of giving. My mom worked with the arts, music, opera, and countless youth organizations helping kids. She was a 3rd grade teacher most of her career and introducing kids to these items and more was a passion of hers. My dad proudly participated in and supported (I am sure I can’t name them all), foster parents, billets, Big Brother, Elks, Shriners, Rotary, church, School Board, and on and on. Their passion was giving back… my parents nailed it in this area!
I have grown up with this attitude and live by it still today. I probably give too much to be honest. Whether through Spicy Pie, EPIC, our other entities, or Carolyn (my wife) and I give to personally, there is a lot of giving happening, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Giving back to community is crucial for quality of life. I live by it, and I hope my kids do as well.
A few years ago, I formed EPIC Charities. My goal is to create another avenue for funding community events. This charity is young, and needs to mature, but it is a start.
I do have access to relationships with other charities, businesses, etc. to help achieve my mission of growing community events. I am not shy about that and not hiding any of it.
Lately, people have taken “pot shots” at us without knowing what the truth is. NO ONE is lining their pockets, NO ONE is breaking any law, NO ONE is doing anything with ill intent. WE ARE working together to create a better community.
This past year, a group of investors and EPIC purchased the Holiday Inn in Fargo. It has a major gaming site in the bar. We decided to end our lease with NDSU Team Makers and pursue another direction to help our overall mission. We thought EPIC Charities could work, but it is not a mature enough organization, so we put in West Fargo Events, a charity that I helped start to manage The Lights, West Fargo Sports Arena, and downtown West Fargo POW/MIA Plaza. All these spaces are true community spaces, owned by either the city or school district. The West Fargo Events model works, check out their website to see all the great work they are doing.
Yes, charities like NDSU Team Makers get upset about this change, and I understand that. I am a supporter and proud alum of NDSU. I get it.
I have my focus – it is COMMUNITY events, helping underprivileged families, and supporting arts, music, and youth entertainment. I will do everything that I can, legally, to continue to energize my goals, and the charities that I help start and support.
Community is a word that represents diversity and helping one another. When people attack items that don’t necessarily mean something to them, I think that they forget community. It is sad and I will never go down that path. On game day, I will be wearing green and gold, supporting the Bison teams!
Life is short, lets continue to help one another, and not take unnecessary “pot shots”. It does no good.