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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cocktails by the Fire Reflections

Ahhhhh- Cocktails by the Fire 2014 is almost in the books.  Last night was indeed a very special night for me for many reasons.  Was it perfect?  Depends on how you define and measure perfection.  I'm not sure perfection really exists.  Was it a success- hands down!  When you have over 350 (guests, volunteers, in-kind donors) all in one place supporting a place the Works how can you not call it a success.  And of course I have to take the time to say thank you.

So many people to thank and I'll miss so many so I won't go into detailed lists now.  I'm thankful to those that walked with me- the host committee is key to this event. I love that this event has this tradition- not only to reach new people but to give The Works staff a chance to connect with folks in this way. The tasting party, the emails, the circle of friends and family to bring into the event.  Staff- we don't do this very often- through a 350 person party.  We're a museum- we do school and adult tours, engage with individuals and small groups- but once, sometimes two times during HATSOFF! years, we close down the museum, push back the exhibits and open a bar. This is where the inability to be perfect happens.  But we pull it off thanks to staff and volunteers.  Often staff's family are the volunteers!  I'm pretty proud of Sally for helping so well yesterday- love sharing my love of events @ The Works with my family. My parents are here helping with the kids (seeing basketball too) and of course Joe might as well be staff.  Same goes for Rori's mom, Marcia's husband and daughter, Craig's wife, Laura and Shelly's husbands, Sam's brother, Jenna and Justin's kids,  Janice's husband…oh that's right I don't want to be doing lists here…sorry.

What is fun for me is I get to see so much- not all. I missed a number of great guests! Can't wait to see Carlo's photos- facebook helps me with this a bit. I'm so grateful to every person who attended- I love guests who come pay and enjoy enjoy enjoy- this event is for you and you do it well. You tell me it is your favorite and you wear a smile the whole night.  You dress up, you theme up, you tell your friends, you keep the party going in downtown Newark- woo hoo!  I don't get to talk to all of you, but just seeing you or having the moment we had in the museum- means so much.

I love seeing new and old friends go the extra mile for this event- the Matesich team puts meeting time, set up, delivery, pick-up, tap time into this even and boy does it make a difference - I could type and type about them.  The Works volunteers and staff- I can't stop typing about them- the bartenders were on fire last night- wow! The new 1882 HATSOFF! room- WOW!! I love HATSOFF! years and this year is already in such an amazing place becuase of the shared talent and time.  Flowers and decorations for this year's CTBF- wow wow wow- Kim Downs delighted me for the the past two days with aroma, creativity, innovation and pure beauty. Everyone oohed and ahhed and learned…yes Cocktails by the Fire was a success- we took our mission and moved to night time for grown-ups.

The Glass Studio deserves it's own paragraph.  The whole Glass Studio program is incredible and growing in amazing ways.  Seeing both AIRs (artist in residence)- most recent and incoming-showcasing their gifts for The Works was incredible. The glasses, slumped pieces, art that tied to our theme and executed this event- LT- you rock.  We all gathered around the "fire" love seeing people realize Cocktails by the Fire is the furnace- not a bonfire in the courtyard - and again we were learning and being inspirited with a cocktail…or yummy new flavor from Velvet- celebrating their 100th Anniversary!! Wow!

The Dagar farmily is inspiring to me year in and year out. Last year at the Ground Hog Breakfast I learned about their natural process and ingredients and wanted to talk that up during this year's Cocktails by the Fire. Our Green Revolution- celebrate sustainability, enjoy local- theme aligns perfectly with their product.  But they are so much more than just that and I love their 100th Anniversary is so apart of this year and week.   The ground hog breakfast also featured the Grote family business Donatos.  I can't recall after all the fun work in the past two days the exact quote or which amazing woman said it but I was inspired by both.  I can tell you the goodness that goes into these business was what made The Works: Cocktails by the Fire work so well- we have an amazing family in this community and I'm grateful.

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