When I was fresh out of college I lived with my dad and thus ALL of my income was disposable / paying off credit cards. Looking back and seeing how much my household expenses and student loans cost I'm pretty mad at myself. During this time I spent a lot of money socializing - A LOT. At least a lot of my social events were for a good cause, ie fundraiser events. I'm all about charity but a 23 year old with a salary in the 30s really has no business attending $50 to $100 ticket events on a weekly basis. Oh but I did and my dad used to say I was "saving the city of Memphis one cocktail at a time" in reference to the fact that most of these fundraisers were essentially cocktail parties.
As I've gotten a little older and a little more fiscally responsible I still enjoy these events but I am much more selective about the ones I will attend. I've also come to appreciate how an unrestricted gift of $50 does more for an organization than a $100 event ticket and learned to see the value in my time. Bill Gates may outrank me on wealth but we each only have 24hrs everyday - that's pretty cool. But cocktail fundraisers are indeed fun and do help generate awareness of a cause, they're never going away and I'm never going to not enjoy dressing up and having an open bar. An annual event in Memphis that has always caught my attention has been Literatini. This year I finally had the calendar availability and was set to buy tickets when I lost the job. So, I'm again all about charity but I'm also all about never ever needing it myself so sometimes that means keeping all my limited funds for my own expenses. Honestly, this mindset makes me sad, nervous and sick. Not being able to be charitable gives me such anxiety. But then the Yelp community manager was giving away tickets, and I won! Yay, I could still go and emotionally support and help make the event a fun success.
Literatini supports Literacy MidSouth. In Memphis, 120,000 adults cannot read at a 6th grade level. Wow. I love to read and obviously I love the written word so this statistic makes me incredibly sad. The event to raise awareness and funds for this issue is held at The Booksellers, a local bookstore. The store shut down for the evening and featured 10 martini stations. Our tickets (which would have been $50 each or $75 per couple) included admission, food and two drink tickets.
The 10 competing martinis were stationed around the store and guests were invited to sample each one. We then voted for our favorites by getting full size cocktails with our drink tickets. My favorite drink of the night was called bubble bath by Automatic Slims. Check out the adorable presentation:
After sampling all the drinks we headed to the Bistro area for food and desserts. I know, I know these events are for charity but it really ticks me off when an event costs more than a meal out but doesn't offer enough food to be a meal, luckily this was not the case here.
The event started at 7pm and at 8:30pm they had a mix off with 4 bartenders participating and 3 rounds of elimination. Alchemy was the winner of the night and managed to make some good stuff out of some pretty gross ingredients - dill pickles, eww!
The mix off:
While we watched we sipped our yummy cocktails:
I also had the chance to get a personal poem made. Yes, I realize this is very hipster but it was in the spirit of the event:
If I had been given more drink tickets I probably would have used them but overall I feel 4 cocktails, food for 2 and entertainment would have been well worth $75 in the name of a good cause. We had a great time and plan to purchase tickets next year, because I should totally be employed again by then.
Thanks to Literacy Mid-south for a great event, Yelp for the tickets, the Booksellers for a fun venue and all the participants for lots of marvelous martinis.