Inspiring others, raising awareness of causes and helping those in need while having a great time is in my books a recipe for success. I knew guest bar tending would be fun but it is even beyond my wildest expectations.
On Sunday April 6, we raised $1,313 for Multiple Sclerosis at Diamonds and simply had a blast. So on this great Sunday the number 13 was a lucky number. $1313 in donations, $13 more than the $1300 we raised on February 23 (OK so 23 is not 13 but there is a three in there). Fortunately more than 13 people showed, approximately 40 people showed up and it was a WIN-WIN for everyone. All the people that came had a great time chatting with me and mingling with the various guests.
What is so cool is that I have people coming from so many different parts of my life, Spin Students, clients, Cooper teammates, Cooper Pest vendors, Rotarians, friends, family and people who heard of it. So people gathered, made new friends, had a few drinks, ate some amazing food and then tipped as normal (well maybe a little more!!) and went home with a smile on their face.
In the meantime while my guests were having a great time, I was behind the bar living the dream. Bartending is in my blood but so are so many other things. When I can do something I love or want to do and can combine it to help others, well it does not get better.
My ace in the hole at Diamonds was Cynthia Stark. Cynthia’s day job is with Allies, Inc. but on the side she is a bartender and on Sunday she was my coach. She took me under her wing and was with me every step of the way. But even more special is that Cynthia also is a victim of MS. When I arrived at 1:30 to prep for the day Cynthia handed me an envelope from work with contributions her teammates made on her behalf for my cause. Over $250 was raised all going into the tip jar. And it goes a bit further as one of the co-owners of Diamonds, Philomena Zucchetti also works at Allies with Cynthia. It never ceases to amaze me how small the world is. The other cool touch was a gift card to Diamond’s that Philomena raffled off.
A big thank you to Tommy & Anthony Zucchetti for making the day so amazing. The Zucchetti’s were gracious hosts and promoted the event over the past several weeks…and it worked!! As the day wound down, I met a wonderful family who lives in Pennington who are on the Diamond’s email list. They heard of the event and brought in their family for dinner and to give me a donation of $100. The wife, in her 40s is also a victim of MS. When people with the disease end up giving me donations I am blown away as it is for them that I fund raise and tears come to my eyes when they are the ones contributing.
Back to fun with bar tending….with Cynthia at my side I just honed my bar tending skills. Frank, the normal bartender was there to help me with some of the cash register items and to encourage me on. But Cynthia had me rocking and rolling. Once again, it was more than just making drinks. I was able to use their glass washer, set out the glasses, work the register and simply work, work, work.
And as the consummate bartender I did a lot of chatting with my friends and the regulars. These gigs could become contagious.
Cynthia, Frank and I all sported our Cooper 2012 bike jersey worn for the cross country ride. Each has kept the jersey and are making plans on wearing them again. Just as neat was a shirt Cynthia made up to tell the world that she has MS. Patrons of the bar never knew, now they do. And I promised to Cynthia, that I will continue to work tirelessly on her behalf until she no longer has to battle this insipid disease.
And as always, none of this would be possible without the support of my anchor and rock, the lovely Laura Cooper. Thank you Coop!!! So, as I prepare for my last gig of the spring on April 27 2p-6p at The Cool Cricket in Fieldsboro, NJ it is your erstwhile bartender signing off. Hope to see you on the 27th. Phil