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It's got the benefits of Internet dating and real-life dating." They made 63 matches that first night. "Everybody had 1.5 chances of meeting someone and going on a date," Rothenburger said."I did the math." "I was kind of picky," Francoeur said.From left, DWC volunteer team leaders Shannon Ritchie and Jess Rothenburger along with Krysta Francoeur at Mc Cracken Station Pub, home of the speed dating fundraising events.Photograph By Murray Mitchell/The Daily News The fastest way to raise money for charity - if not to find a date - is speed dating, Shannon Ritchie has found.At the end of the cycle, checking their notes, they discreetly drop the names of those they'd like to date into a tin.Organizers then follow up to let them know of prospective dates."But I did end up with one match who I haven't contacted yet." They've had a strong show of interest from the 40-and-up singles and will focus on the older age group for their final fundraiser, modifying the rules slightly to allow three minutes at each table.Anyone in that age category who is interested (and single, of course) can purchase a ticket at Mc Cracken Station Pub, 1626 Valleyview Dr. A casework supervisor with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Ritchie has already completed two DWC projects in Rwanda.

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They had so many requests after last weekend's under-40 event that they've decided to hold a 40-plus event Dec. "It was great," said Krysta Francoeur of the first event. There were tables set up with 25 guys and 37 girls, so the girls basically rotated table to table with two males at each table." Speed dating, which caught on 10 years ago, resembles a structured social mixer that runs against the clock.Participants get two minutes at each table to meet others before rotating.They got a thumbs-up from participants, most of whom said they would love to do it again."You know what's good about it, from my perspective? "You have anonymity and there is no prejudgment, but you actually get to meet people.

Ritchie is a team leader set to take a group of 24 volunteers down to Lima, Peru, on a Developing World Connections project next month.

In the meantime, together with her partner and co-leader Jess Rothenburger, she's holding speed-dating events at Mc Cracken Station Pub to support the project. "We've had a scavenger hunt, a Halloween party, meat draws. But none of them drew a crowd the way speed-dating did.

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