It’s a ‘sign’ of neighborly support: Sign wars turns into friendly fundraiser

Local News

It’s a “sign” of neighborly support.

A local restaurant and organization hope you’ll help them answer who has the best sign.

Neighbors Finn’s Grill and the Quad City Animal Welfare Center have been going at it for days. Thanks to the involvement of the community, Finn’s is donating more than $2,500 to the Quad City Animal Welfare Center.

The sign-off challenge quickly turned from just a friendly game among neighbors into a major fundraiser.

Joe Ende, the owner of Finn’s Grill, 580 1st St. W., Milan, told Local 4 News that when he and his team saw the first sign, they knew it was a challenge they couldn’t resist.

“At Finn’s, of course, as you know, we love a challenge, so we saw that and accepted and rebutted back and tried to be as witty as we could be, and it turned into a lot of fun,” Ende said.

It fits the Finn’s Grill motto of see a need, fill a need.

“They (the Animal Welfare Center) do such a great thing next door that I saw an opportunity and I figured the community was loving what was happening already with it,” he said. “So I figured it was the perfect time to shoot for a response and see if we can raise some money for the Animal Welfare.”   

Ende has raised more than $2,500  for the welfare center. His original Facebook post has been shared more than 2,800 times and it took only four hours to raise the first $2,000.

Tanya Mattingly, the lead assistant for the Quad City Animal Welfare Center, says that getting this money will be huge because they operated solely on donations. Right now it’s kitten season, so the welfare center is expecting to get a lot of furry friends coming in.

“They’re going to need (kitten milk replacement,) they’re going to need different supplies to keep them up and running when their moms abandon them and things like that,” she said. “So it will really help our funds to be able to help the stray animals that are coming in and then the community that have to unfortunately have to give up their animals during this pandemic. It helps us to vaccinate them, get them sprayed and neutered to get them adopted.”   

It’s been a collaborative effort among the staff at both businesses coming up with a new sign each day.

“Getting the creativity and just the buzz around our own staff members is awesome,” Mattingly said.

“It’s something we all look forward to every day now,” Ende said.

If the original Facebook post gets to 5,000 shares by the end of Sunday, Ende says, then he will have another big surprise for the community.

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