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Ohio man who raised $55K is throwing potato salad party

Zack Brown’s PotatoStock 2014, an all-ages, charity-minded party, is set for Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
Zack Brown’s PotatoStock 2014, an all-ages, charity-minded party, is set for Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.Chris Russell/The Columbus dispatch via Associated Press

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.

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The Columbus Dispatch reported that Brown partnered with the Columbus Foundation to start an endowment to aid area charities that fight hunger and homelessness.

The account, started with $20,000 in postcampaign corporate donations, will grow after proceeds from PotatoStock are added. 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 Kickstarter spokesman.

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.

Associated Press