When Bartenders Get Charitable!

When the 2015 council of the USBGLV United States Bartenders Guild Las Vegas Chapter took over, led by President Kristen Schaefer, they made it a major priority to do everything they could to give back to the city and the people here that need it the most. By the end of 2015, the chapter had raised over $2,700 dollars for Toys For Tots by doing monthly raffles at their round table meetings. They also raised over $1,200 for Toys 4 Smiles Las Vegas www.toys4smileslasvegas.org, a charity that makes high quality wooden toys from donated wood and distributes them throughout the valley to children in need of a smile.

The USBGLV rang in the New Year with new charity opportunities and partnerships. In 2016, they teamed up even more so than in the past with The Helen David Relief Fund and also decided the yearly local charity would be The Shade Tree www.theshadetree.org. The Shade Tree provides shelter to homeless and abused women and children in crisis. As of the writing of this article, the USBGLV has raised $2,500 for The Shade Tree! The Helen David Relief Fund was established by mixology legend, Tony Abou-Ganim, to assist women in the bar industry who are taking on breast cancer with dignity and courage! The Helen David Relief Fund has been involved in a multitude of USBG events, both in the Las Vegas chapter but the national USBG as well. To date, the Helen David Relief Fund has raised over $30,000!! The main extravaganza is “For The Love of Cocktails” taking place from February 9-11. This is a week of amazing events ranging from a “Meet The Masters” wine dinner to the “Grand Gala” where they showcase local mixologists with their specialty cocktails. fortheloveofcocktails.com

The Helen David Relief Fund has combined fundraising with health awareness by creating the TAG Bike Ride with the leadership of Tony Abou-Ganim and Moniek Pullen. The ride tasks riders to raise donations to inspire and encourage them to finish the 40 mile scenic trek! The first ride was held here in Las Vegas in 2015 but this year we have seen it expand to rides in Orlando, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin and Los Angeles. This has been a truly amazing opportunity to raise breast cancer awareness and donations but also show the importance of personal overall health in an industry where it is often swept under the rug.

Then comes the “Beard-Off” event on November 30 at 10 p.m. at The Sand Dollar Lounge! The event was created by Las Vegas barman and mixology extraordinaire, Adam Rains. In conjunction with The Helen David Relief Fund, the Beard-Off will feature some local beverage industry pros that will go clean-shaven for a good cause. It will surely be a hilariously awesome event that will take the famous facial hair from the likes of Adam Rains CarneVino, Keith Baker Mickie Finnz, Bryan Bidgeman The Cosmopolitan and many more! For more information on the “Beard-Off” and future TAG Bike Rides, as well as ways that you can donate to this spectacular cause, please visit facebook.com/HelenDavidReliefFund.

Cocktail of the Month

"Oil Money"
By Cody Fredrickson

2 oz J.R. Ewing Bourbon

.5 oz cold press coffee

.5 oz charred cinnamon Demerara syrup

.25 oz Campari

Dash of Angostura bitters

Place all ingredients into mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel.

About the USBG

The United States Bartenders’ Guild is comprised of spirit professionals dedicated to the art of the craft of Bartending. For information on how to join, please go to www.usbg.org.