Providing Support: Through Heart-felt Hospitality
Bob Evans Farms knows a thing or two about serving a hungry breakfast crowd. But the busiest, most challenging day of the year is undoubtedly when the company feeds 7,000 Pelotonia participants as they prepare to embark on their rides to benefit cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
Volunteers from Bob Evans serve a grab-n-go breakfast of fruit, bagels and coffee at the race’s start in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and a full breakfast of eggs, sausage and biscuits at the 25-mile mark in Pickerington. This year, for the first time, Bob Evans will also serve lunch to riders at the 50-mile stop. The lunch will take place in New Albany, where riders will get a sneak peek at Bob Evans’ new corporate headquarters, scheduled to open in October 2013. Bob Evans will also serve breakfast for those riders completing 155- or 180-mile races on the event’s second day following the overnight stop at Kenyon College in Gambier.
Bob Evans, along with vendor partners including Wallingford Coffee, Castellini Group, and Gordon Food Service, has been a part of Pelotonia since the first year and has grown with the event ever since. Says Steven Davis, Bob Evans Farms chairman and CEO, and a member of the OSUCCC – James Foundation Board, “Bob Evans Farms isn’t the biggest company in central Ohio, and we may not have the largest group of riders in Pelotonia, but our team brings so much heart to the event. And we bring it in a way that’s authentic to who we are as an organization—with good food and hospitality.”
Feeding 7,000 racers is nothing short of awe-inspiring, says Sarah Morton, Bob Evans Farms philanthropy manager. “It’s bright and early and the volunteers are blurry-eyed, but when they start serving all the riders, they’re compelled by the enthusiasm around them.”
In addition to Bob Evans’ support for cancer research at Ohio State through Pelotonia, the company recently donated $250,000 to the new OSUCCC – James Cancer Hospital. Bob Evans’ philanthropic support for the OSUCCC – James aligns with the company’s commitment to supporting health and wellness. The gift to the new hospital will help the OSUCCC – James create a comfortable environment for patients and their families—an appropriate connection, Morton points out, given the company’s familyoriented philosophy.
“We take care of people,” says Morton. “We’ve seen so many of our employees, their family and friends battle cancer. We are taking care of them by helping raise the money it will take to find a cure.”
Bob Evans Farms considers themselves one big family, and like many families, theirs has been affected by cancer. To honor those who have battled this terrible disease, as well as those who support them, Bob Evans supports Pelotonia. Involved since the beginning, their team of volunteers is out bright and early during Pelotonia weekend serving breakfast and coffee before the ride.