For the past couple of weeks I've been heavily involved in planning the Beers Not Bullets fundraiser that just went off this past Friday (6/24). I am not gonna lie, it was awesomely executed. The team of folks that I worked with was so well entrenched with connections and so on top of everything, that everything went off more or less without a hitch. A few small glitches- no rinsing water/dump buckets for tasting cups, could have used more non-crawfish food and water, maybe more lights outside for when it gets dark, and some speakers inside the brewery so that people can hear the bands and announcements better. The band that was supposed to end at 10 didn't, bumping the act we had for the last hour.
But everyone was was so awesome. The volunteers were amazing, the brewers, bars, and distributors were beyond generous, the crowd was pleasant and fun-loving (not much asshole behavior that I saw or heard tell of anyway.) Chef Nathanial himself stopped by and stayed for almost 2 hours, and by all accounts enjoyed himself- especially once the tv crews were gone. The beer advocates poured out hundreds of samples from hundreds of bottles of beer, the auction went off amazingly well (raked in a couple thousand from that alone,) and the raffle was very popular! Everyone delivered on their promises, and people were so enthusiastic and positive and generous.
It was a great party, and when all's said and done, we'll have raised in the neighborhood of $13,000 for the Nathanial Zimet Fund.
All my thanks to (in no particular order): Jeremy and Aaron Labadie, Jim and Pam Durbin, Jonnie Honse, Champ Superstar, Derek Lintern, Erica Woodley, Kirk Coco, Dylan Lintern, Jenna the raffle queen, Stephanie, Susan and Eric Fincher, Mike Reilly, Polly Watts, Josh Benitez, Ron Swoboda, Brittany Keel, Vanessa Gomes, Nick Powers, Mark Janes, Dan Stein, Keith Anthony Pumilia, Sonny Day, Graham Gibby, Travis Combel, Andrew Crawford, Bradford Rhines, Robert Wailes, Kristina Bradford, Evan Bauer, Margot Wiatrowski Hallgren, Todd Price, James Denio, Craig and Kimmie Giesecke, David Bergeron, Troy Dupuis, David Gallent, Shaggy, Peter Caddo, Liam Deegan, Vasu Tummala, Matt Newman, Matthew Austin, Shane/injuredreserve, George from Tales of the Cocktail, Melanie Weller, Kelly Brilleaux, Southern Services & Equipment, Old New Orleans Rum, Bayou Teche, Pensacola Bay Brewing, Abita, Heinerbrau, Crescent City Homebrewers, NOLA Brewing, The Avenue Pub, The Bulldog. the Barley Oak, Crescent Crown, Southern Eagle, Glazier's, Crescent City Brewhouse, Crescent City Pie and Sausage Co., everyone who attended, everyone who bought raffle tickets, everyone who brought beer for the Beer Advocate tasting table, everyone who bid on the auction lots, everyone who slipped me a couple bucks even if they couldn't attend or even have much to spare.
Wow, look at that list of people. And I know I must have left tons of people out (because I didn't have direct contact with them, or I spaced out).
The event sold out more than 24 hours before it began, which took everyone by surprise, and annoyed some other people greatly. We had some great press from the Times-Picayune/Nola.com, NOLA Defender, Offbeat Magazine, and then at the benefit, 3 different camera crews showed up in full force. Here's WWL's story.
And here's WGNO's clip.
And last but not least, the Fox news clip that I'm actually interviewed in!
So, other than a few housekeeping issues, the event's done and I feel a little empty and exhausted. Planning this was so much work, but I loved every minute of it. This may play into what could be my next step forward in my New Orleans career path... we shall see.