It was a beautiful spring evening when Kathy and Kelly Fish first hosted friends for drinks in their new outdoor kitchen and bar in the backyard of their home on Peabody Avenue. It so happened that one of those in attendance was Jackie Nichols, founder and president of Playhouse on the Square. Jackie and the Fishes had invited other friends and supporters of Playhouse to join them at the Fish home that night, and an idea was born. As they admired the new patio, vast stone bar, beautiful granite and modern light fixtures under the night sky, they said to themselves, “What if we get together here, once a month, and support local non-profits? There are so many great ones in Memphis to support!” As great ideas seem to be spawned organically on the front porches and back patios of Central Gardens, so was Cocktails for a Cause. Cocktails for a Cause, currently in its third season, invites one local non-profit to use the Fish’s outdoor entertainment area as a fundraising venue. The events are typically held the first Friday of the month and the season runs April through November. Kathy Fish has lived in Memphis for over 35 years and in Central Gardens for almost 20 years and is very active in the Memphis non-profit community. She has served on the Friends for Life Board of Directors and volunteered for numerous others. “Once we put the word out, people quickly began to approach me. We have held events for a variety of groups, such as MIFA, Project Green Fork and the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center.” In order to be considered for a Cocktails for a Cause event, the non-profit must find an entity to match funds raised during the event to maximize impact. Some organizations have reached out to major donors, sponsor organizations or have had grants in place that will fill the match. Board members bring in food to serve partygoers and a celebrity bartender is invited to mix up signature cocktails. “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the local community and by our friends in Central Gardens,” Kathy stated. “Our neighbors come out and join the fun, they help support these local causes, some of which they may have never heard of before.” Cocktails for a Cause has raised more than $110,000 in three seasons and has raised almost $28,000 of that this year alone. The next event, set for Friday, Sept. 5th will support Creative Aging, an organization that enriches the lives of senior citizens through the arts. Creative Aging hires professional musicians, storytellers and visual artists to present musical performances and hands-on art-making workshops in communities of the aging as well as nursing homes, hospitals and hospice settings. If you would like to attend the event in support of Creative Aging on Sept. 5th or to learn more about Creative Aging, click here. If you have an idea for a Cocktails for a Cause event, please visit the Cocktails for a Cause Facebook page.
Central Gardens AssociationP.O. Box 41382 • Memphis, TN 38174-1382
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