What started as banter between the Quad City Animal Welfare Center and Finn’s Grill in Milan turned into a major fundraiser thanks to the participation and generosity of the community.
The Animal Welfare Center directly faces Finn’s Grill. The employees there decided to challenge the restaurant to a “sign off.” Pictures of these messages wound up shared online.
“The Quad City Animal Welfare Center had no idea the sign war they sparked, would ultimately lead to a more unified community and more funds to support their animals,” said Stacey Teager, community services director at the center.
“We just thought, you know, wouldn’t it be fun to have a sign war? And we’ve got Finn’s right next door, so we put ‘Hey Finn’s, wanna have a sign war?’ And that’s how it all started.”
After the first exchange businesses were quickly engaged in a full-fledged friendly battle, sharing witty messages back and forth through their exterior signage. They thought it would be a funny inside joke between the businesses, but the flames were fanned online and the war began to go viral.
“Just clapping back with Finn’s … they have such an outstanding fan base just like we do with our animals, so we were able to get over two thousand shares just with the first post,” said Tanya Mattingly, lead office assistant at the center.
Finn’s owner Joe Ende saw that the publicized war could lead to more than just a few laughs. He took to Facebook to begin the initiative proposing a dollar donation to the welfare center for every share the post received.
They then went on to raise $4,000.
“The community drove it,” said Finn’s owner Joe Ende. “We gave them a platform and the community took care of the rest.”
“We are so grateful that the community and Finn’s got together to do that for us,” Mattingly said.
The ladies of the Quad City Animal Welfare Center knew the Finn’s staff was joining them one afternoon to present them the fundraiser money. But what they
“We are gonna give one free meal a week the entire week of June to every person who works here once a week throughout every week of June,” Ende said. “And then we’ll have a free meal for everybody on this staff.”