Dutch Bros. Coffee Raises Nearly $1 Million to Honor Co-founder Who Died of ALS

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Dutch Bros. ALS drive

More than 260 Dutch Bros. Coffee locations in seven American states have raised $970,037 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association‘s patient-services and research programs, which include ALS, the disease that claimed Dutch Bros. co-founder Dane Boersma.

To honor Boersma, the company calls its annual fund-raiser Drink One for Dane Day. In addition to fighting muscular dystrophy, the association is the world leader in fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. It also works to combat other neuromuscular diseases.

“We were blown away last year by our community’s support, and raising even more this year is beyond amazing,” Travis Boersma, Dutch Bros.’ other co-founder and Dane’s brother, said in a news release. “Our community never ceases to amaze us, and it truly shows by the support they showed on Drink One.”

This year’s fund-raiser brings the total that Drink One for Dave has raised to more than $3.5 million.

The Boersmas founded the Grants Pass, Oregon-based company in 1992. Its name comes from their being ethnic Dutch. Dane Boersma, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2006, died of it in late 2009.

The company marks the annual fund-raiser on the first Friday of May, although money is raised before the day as well.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association uses Drink One for Dane proceeds in its quest to help those living with ALS and to support research on the causes of the disease, and treatments for it.

Drink One for Dane has also raised awareness in the company’s territory of a disease that is not well understood.

“How incredibly special that on Drink One for Dane Day, the FDA approved the first drug to treat ALS in over 22 years — a proof point reflective of the unprecedented momentum we’re seeing in ALS research,” said Dr. Grace Pavlath, the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s senior vice president. “On this same special day, the Dutch Bros. community came together in honor of Dane and in support of continued progress in the fight against ALS. The incredible results of this year’s Drink One for Dane Day are sure to help MDA [the association] make the breakthroughs needed to find treatments and cures for ALS.”

“It’s pretty crazy to think that on the same day there was significant progress made in a treatment,” Travis Boersma said. “And for me, I am just super grateful.”

“With still no cure in sight, the money [Dutch Bros] raises through Drink One for Dane provides the kind of hope which is invaluable for all those who are inflicted with ALS,” said Dennis Westling, an ALS patient. “This hope is what keeps our spirits high, giving us the opportunity to live a more normal life.”