Cocktails by the fire was started 10 years ago- we had our 10th event last Saturday night. Robert Abbott created the concept and has helped execute the design all along- his signature cocktail for the event is just one of many ways he offers excellence. Danielle Ford was the first host committee member to partner with Managing Director- Marcia Downes. Marcia was reflecting last night how the first one was simple with cheese and fruit- boy has it evolved! We introduced themes a few years ago to meet some volunteer needs, give direction to event design and execution and connect to our mission and exhibits! Past themes have included Mardi Gras, Mojito/Lemon/Limes, Prohibition (Places of Innovation), Green Revolution-Reuse/Recycle. Last night's MASH 4077 was created with a link to the military with the WWI exhibit in the gallery- proved the success of themes. The conversation during debrief today was about future themes- I'd love to hear your ideas!!
So how does Cocktails happen- first and foremost with volunteers and donors. The host committee invite their friends and help us make the evening work. Volunteers work where the small staff can't- tending bar, refilling supplies, taking care of coats (HUGE!) decorating, slicing lemons and so much more!! Volunteers came from all over in incredible ways and we're VERY grateful!! Food vendors generously bring samples of their food or offer something tied to the theme. The food gets better and better! We all so value and appreciate these donations. Last night we had:
- Clay's Café- I've always heard her strombolis are to die for- and that is correct! her cookies were gorgeous- so tied to the theme- army men, dog tags, stars...MASH letters- and tasty!
- Soup Loft- ham and bean- perfect military soup and the beloved tomato with goat cheese- not to mention Kevin's incredible bread!! These restaurants made up our mess tent!
- Taco Sherpa offered yummy mini-bowls. We all need to keep tabs on where this food truck will be next!
- New on the scene if volunteer Theresa's son's restaurant- Big Momma's! He had great offering of chicken and fish, plus his bean pie- incredible!
- Palumbo's Italian Market- those meatballs- yum, sausage and cup cakes- wow!
- Moundbuilders Country Club had grape neigh hi offering with a BLT shot too- creative and delicious.
- Eric Mason was on hand promoting his fun restaurants- Pappy's, The Chop House and the Works The Grill Deli! What a great job he does at these places- downtown is grateful for these wonderful offerings!
- Lucas from Snapshots gets a gold star not only for his roses and décor, chocolate covered strawberries- but he brought a friend!
- Bella Cakes is his wedding and event partner. Her cookies and cupcakes were to die for and she arrived first, only learning about our event two days prior!
- The Granville Inn embraced the theme with SPAM sandwiches and we were given heads up about the renovations- thanks Tim, Dena and Chef Chad!!
- Red Oak Pub- Mike and Andre returned after a break last year and are we glad they did! Fun generous people sharing the great food offered at this 21st street gem.
- Sweet 23's cookies and cakes were raved about in the glass studio!
- New this year was Chris from Sparta and we're so grateful- his energy and support meant the world to us.
- Velvet Ice Cream's chocolate peanut butter was the perfect accompaniment while watching glass in the hot shop! A treat in the middle of winter for sure- thank you for delivering the cooler and making this a Cocktails by the Fire tradition!
- Bonus for those attending was a raffle from Pugh Designer Jewelry- I hope all attendees put their name in the basket- thanks Kevin for extra fun.
- One of my favorite new treats was also on hand-our great education intern passed Double Tree by Hilton chocolate chip cookies!! I love when they are baked bite-sized!! You can buy a tin of these at the front desk!!
Nothing happens without a sponsor and Matesich Distributing is an incredible partner. Kelly Dyar and team embrace our theme and help us take it to the next level. As soon as we had this military plan-Budweiser was the ideal choice. The Support the Heroes campaign is very meaningful and I'm honored to have connected it to our event and museum. You also need to know each and every staff member at The Works works on this event. Our guests had a wonderful time- lingered and supported the museum with admission, memberships, tips and purchases, compliments, happy buzz and energy all around.
However if the guests do not attend, it isn't much of an event. So thank you from the bottom of my heart every person who bought a ticket and attended. The theme was embraced by one and all and made it really fun. The creativity, camaraderie, innovation and fun was just like the show/movie our theme was based and really what the Works is all about…and that is why it worked so well! It also worked because this community supports innovation, history, science in art and we're so grateful!
Jon Downes, Joe Leithauser, Kim Downs, M.Taylor Downes and me- one staff with extra special volunteers!! More pictures coming soon, Facebook has great ones- keep them coming!!