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His Eats vRandy Dockendorf For Steve and Tracy Huff, charity begins at home. The Yankton couple enjoys sharing family time in the kitchen, dining room and back patio. They also love rolling out the red carpet and entertaining guests, usually in kick-back style. But their most rewarding moments may come when they offer up their culinary talents for a good cause. Their made-to-order meals, served at their home or anywhere else, have become big draws for local fundraisers. ‘We do it for things like Dakota Theater or Habitat for Humanity in Yankton and Clay counties,” Steve said. “We offer a meal and have gotten as much as $2,500 for a bid. The guests look at it as a donation, but they know they’re coming for a good meal.” This time, the Huffs fired up the grill for a cause that hits close to home — the Science Olympiad program for the Yankton School District. Their son, Nathan, competes on the team and their daughter, Abby, has shown interest in trying out for it. “We have done benefits in the past, but this is the first year we’ve donated a meal for the Science Olympiad program,” Steve said. “Tracy and I were sitting at (Science Olympiad) orientation. We thought, if they’re going to be selling tickets on donated items, one of our meals would fit into that scheme really well.” The Yankton School District literally owns the state title. Its teams have won nearly every middle school and high school championship in the existence of the South Dakota competition. However, maintaining the Yankton award-winning program and traveling to national competitions does bring expenses. The Huffs’ fundraiser helps meet the price tag. “We offered a meal for eight. We hoped to advertise it as a ‘Huff Meal.’ It would consist of any main course, your choice, along with all the appetizers and booze,” Steve said. “We provide whatever you want, and we even provide the transportation. We take care of you, doorstep to doorstep.” The meal had no cap or budget, and the Huffs receive no compensation for their time or reimbursement for the food and drink, Steve said. 14vHISVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 “We never even turn it in on our taxes,” he said, referring to a charitable deduction. For the Huffs, this fundraiser was different than previous ones. “Before, people bid on our dinners at an auction. This time, it was given away in a raffle. People were only spending a buck (on a ticket),” Steve said. “It’s a much better return for the consumer. It’s a case of spending a dollar and it could mean ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner.’ But in this case, they’re getting a porterhouse steak dinner.” Under the raffle, the meal was winner’s choice. The Huffs were ready for any kind of entrée. “We’ve done it all in the past — brats, hamburger, fish and shrimp,” Steve said. “But this time, I suggested, ‘If this is me, this is what I would do. I would go with the steaks.’’ The winner agreed, going with porterhouse steaks. “We had the steaks custom cut at Steiner’s (meat locker in Yankton). We were at the $400 mark just for meat, and this is (valued as) a $1,000 meal,” Steve said. “You paid $1 for a ticket and you get a $1,000 meal. That’s a pretty good deal.”

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