COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who jokingly sought $10 from a crowdfunding website to pay for his first attempt at making potato salad and ended up raising $55,000 is making good on his promise to throw a huge party.
Zack Brown is planning PotatoStock 2014, an all-ages, charity-minded party Saturday in downtown Columbus featuring bands, food trucks, beer vendors, potato-sack races and definitely potato salad.
His effort on Kickstarter in early July to buy potato salad ingredients took on a life of its own and attracted worldwide attention as the amount grew. The 31-year-old eventually raised $55,492.
The Idaho Potato Commission and corporate sponsors have donated supplies for Brown and volunteers to whip up 300 pounds of potato salad for the event.
The Columbus Dispatch reports Brown partnered with the Columbus Foundation to start an endowment that will aid area charities that fight hunger and homelessness. The account, started with $20,000 in post-campaign corporate donations, will grow after proceeds from PotatoStock are added.
“His fund will have potential way after this potato salad is forgotten,” said Lisa Jolley, the foundation’s director of donors and development.
Brown has been wooed by chefs, a literary agent and admirers seeking selfies and hugs.
“You never know what’s going to take off,” said Justin Kazmark, a spokesman for Kickstarter, whose projects reach their goals 44 percent of the time. “This was just the Internet being the Internet.”
Brown said the effort was never really about potato salad.
“I think it says something about how you can spread an idea now,” Brown said.