Ray's Food Place and its parent company CandK Market Inc. may have fallen on hard times recently with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but that doesn't mean that people in the community have forgotten all the things the company has done over the years.
Wild Rivers Connect has organized a Cash Mob for Ray's Food Place in all of its Curry County stores for 5:30 p.m. Thursday Feb. 20.
A cash mob is where a large number of people show up to spend money at a local business in order to show their support. It is similar to a flash mob, but with people encouraged to spend money at a local business instead of joining in an intricate dance routine.
Georgia Nowlin, one of the event's coordinators, was inspired to organize the event because of all the years she had witnessed the company and the Nidiffer family, who founded CandK Market, supporting the community, schools and various non-profits.
"From very large things to all the small little ones that are beneficial to everyone, the Nidiffers and CandK Market have supported the community for many years," Nowlin said. "They were helping people way back when and all the way to today."
Julie Payne, Brookings resident, had a whole list of things the Nidiffers and Ray's Food Place have contributed to over the years, from donating money for a new playground at Kalmiopsis Elementary School, to donating money to the Chetco Valley Historical Society that allowed them to pay the utility bill for many years.
"They just hear that a group or someone needs something and they call and make sure they get what they need, whether its just hot dog buns or something more," Payne said. "And when you are doing a fundraiser with kids, those hot dog buns can be golden."
CandK Market started in Brookings in 1956 and has its corporate offices there as well. Over the years, the company expanded from its store in Brookings to operating many grocery stores throughout Oregon and California. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2013.
Tom Davis, former mayor of Brookings, said besides the company providing jobs to many local families, Ray Nidiffer, founder of the company, donated an emergency backup system and generator to the city that was valued at $80,000.
"If you ran down a list of all the things they've done, for everything mentioned there would be 10 more things they've done that haven't been mentioned," Davis said.
The cash mob will take place at the Brookings, Gold Beach and Port Orford Stores, with shoppers encouraged to spend at least $20. Local food banks will also be on hand to accept donations, in case those people wish to donate their purchases.
Wild Rivers Connect is a local group that provides information and networking opportunities for local nonprofits and service organizations in Curry and Del Norte counties. Its website, www.wildriversconnect.org, provides a place for individuals and nonprofits to learn about each other's events and activities and network.