FORT RILEY, Kan. -- In a joint event, the Fort Riley Recycling Center, USO Fort Riley and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation demonstrated how they give back to the Fort Riley community.

More than 500 people attended the recycling center open house and USO No Dough Dinner June 28.

"We wanted to educate people -- to let them know we're here and what all we actually do for Fort Riley," said Janet Schaad, administrative support assistant, Fort Riley Recycling Center. "So many times I get phone calls from people saying they didn't even know we were here."

One way to draw a crowd is by offering free food, which is where the No Dough Dinner came in.

"It went a whole lot better than I had ever dreamt it could be," Schaad said. "I have to give humongous kudos to USO for putting on their No Dough Dinner here tonight, because that has been our big draw."

No Dough Dinners are free dinners for Soldiers and Families the day before pay day.

Crystal Ann Tinkey, programs manager, USO, said the attendance was either the largest or second largest ever for a No Dough Dinner at Fort Riley.

"By working with the recycling center and (DFMWR), we're able to provide a little more fun things, like the bouncy house, the misting tent and the games and tours at the recycling center," Tinkey said.

While many people may have come for the dinner, in the process, they learned how to find the recycling center, how to use it and how it operates.

"We wanted them to come down here, take a tour to show them exactly what the process is and what we do with the money that we get from what we sell because everything we sell in there not only enables us to help out (DFMWR), but it also pays all of our wages, pays for our building, all of our equipment, everything," Schaad said.

All of the profit earned by the recycling center, minus overhead costs and salaries, gets put back into the Fort Riley community.

"A lot of people think that money that we might get here may be going somewhere else," Schaad said.

During the dinner, Schaad and Herb Abel, chief, environmental division, Directorate of Public Works, presented a symbolic oversized check for $268,000 to Bill Bryant, director, DFMWR.

Schaad said the recycling center might be interested in bringing the event back next year.

"Things just went fantastic," Schaad said. "I can't get over the turnout. With this good of a turnout, we're thinking about maybe trying to do this every year now."

For more information about the recycling center -- which is located at Building 1980 at Camp Funston -- call 785-239-2385.