Twisties Owner Chad Thomas is a former Navy man. Perhaps, that’s why he’s a big believer in service. A casual stroll through his store is all the proof anyone needs. Framed pictures of smiling young people and thank you notes adorn the walls at Twisties. Thomas’ frozen yogurt shop has become a helping hand in the community for fundraisers.
Kim Ellsworth-Glasman contacted Thomas for help to raise funds to send three students on an exchange trip to Poland for two weeks this fall. The experience will be educational and likely very expensive.
Ellsworth-Glasman, the students and members of the Lacey-Minsk Mazowiecki Sister City Association took over Twisties in mid-August. The group decorated the store with images of Poland’s flag and bombarded social media with requests.
The fundraiser went well, partially due to Thomas’ philosophy. Instead of letting groups use his space for a few hours, he gives them the option of all day. “The reason I do all day is so people are not forced to come in at a specific time frame that might interfere with their day hopefully allowing people to come in on their time to support the fundraiser,” says Thomas.
For her part, Ellsworth-Glasman is grateful to Twisties for opening the door to her cause and to others. “Chad is extremely supportive of our group and Lacey as a whole. He allows non-profit groups to raise funds in a delicious way by donating a portion of the frozen yogurt and bracelet sales for the whole day to the organization.”
The bracelets Ellsworth-Glasman is referring to are jelly bands emblazoned with the Twisties name and logo. The bands sell for $3. Thomas keeps one dollar and gives the other two to the fundraiser. “You buy a band and for as long as I can read ‘Twisties’ on it you get fifty cents off,” says Thomas.
Leilani Batacan coaches the Raiders and Warriors cheer squads for the Black Hills Junior Football League. She’s done numerous fundraisers with Twisties over the past few years to raise money for things like uniforms, competition fees and trophies. “For our most recent fundraiser we sold bracelets and held an all-day fundraiser,” says Batacan. “Each of my 13 girls sold 10 bracelets and made $20 profit each.”
The event also nabbed another $100 from a percentage of store sales. Batacan says she looks forward to working with Thomas and Twisties again. “I will continue to do fundraisers through them because they are so fun and the staff is so great to the kids and helpful to the community,” she states.
Holding a fundraiser at Twisties is a fairly easy process. Thomas advises calling him at the store or sending a message through Facebook. He’ll provide you with specifics like percentages, talk to you about your organization and find dates that might work. The rest is pretty much history.
Thomas estimates he’s donated over $40,000 worth of goods and services to various charitable causes in the past two-and-a-half years. He’s proud of that number but is always looking for ways to give back.
During his time in the Navy he lived for a while in Jacksonville, Florida. He was awed by the number of places that offered a military discount. “I didn’t make a lot of money and the idea stuck with me,” says Thomas. Now a small business owner, Thomas offers a military discount of 15%.
We’ve all heard the phrase “every little bit helps.” For Thomas, the idea is more than just a saying; it’s a way of life.