On Thursday, August 30th, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc. (NOW) hosted a Celebrity Bartender Night at the Putnam Lodge of Elks #574. The event featured six teams of local “celebrity” personalities, including business owners and other notable NECT community members serving drinks with all tips going to support NOW. The event finished with an impressive $7,000+ profit.

The evening consisted of six teams of four bartenders each facing off in 30-minute shifts, competing to raise the most in tips. From 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. “The Killer J’s” consisted of team members Jeff Rawson of Rawson Materials, John Miller of National Chromium, Joe Carlone of Linemaster Switch, and Jack Burke of J&B Transport. At 6:00 p.m. team “Take it to the Bank” stepped behind the bar with members Tom Borner of Putnam Bank, Kevin Merchant of Jewett City Savings Bank, Maria Thomas of bankHometown and Elizabeth Zachow-Deary of CorePlus Federal Credit Union. At 6:30 p.m. members Gary Osbrey of WINY Radio, Gene Michael Deary of the Savings Institute Bank & Trust, Sheila Frost of the Courthouse Bar & Grille, and Jay Byrnes of the Byrnes Agency formed the team “Talented Talkers.” The 7:00 p.m. shift proved to be the most profitable of the evening, with “The Professionals” team, consisting of Earl Rosebrooks of Fluid Coating Technology, Dick Loomis of the Loomis Team at RE/MAX, Jason St. Onge of The G Seven Catering Company, and Jim Zahansky of Weiss & Hale raising a total of $1,869. The Putnam Elks saw two of their members serving on team “Motor Men” with Pete Newth and Dan Salvas joining fellow members Jake Dykeman of Putnam Ford, and Rene Comtois of NAPA PAP Auto from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. And the final team of the night, “Keep Calm & Sell On” closed out the event with the second highest tip amount of $1,089.25, raised by members Marc Archambault of Archambault Insurance, Eric Quinn of Gerardi Insurance, Jeff Bousquet of Bousquet’s Appliance, and Sam Stamatiou of Verizon WirelessZone. All teams were assisted by Putnam Elks bartender Sharon Briere, who expertly managed the crowds throughout the evening.

In addition to the tips from each shift, the event also raised funds through a raffle drawing for several donated items, including: gift cards to The Hale YMCA, The Courthouse Bar & Grille, and Jessica Tuesdays, tickets to The Bradley Playhouse, a Verizon WirelessZone basket, car detailing swag, Crabtree & Evelyn products, high end cigars, a duffle bag from Rawson Materials, and other baskets. As well, NOW volunteers sold pizza-by-the slice, with 15 large cheese pizzas generously donated to NOW by The Golden Greek Restaurant & Pub.

NOW Executive Director Sarah Wolfburg commented on the event, “We are overwhelmed by the outstanding support we received at the NOW Celebrity Bartender Night. Every single person who contributed to the event helped to make the evening a smashing success – including the fabulous guest bartenders, The Putnam Elks, Golden Greek Restaurant & Pub, all the raffle donors, volunteers, and every person who came out to show their support.”

All funds raised at the event will support NOW youth wellness programs in the region. NOW, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of Quiet Corner children by ensuring each child’s access to wellness, including fitness, nutrition, and athletics. Serving the 10-town area of Northeast Connecticut, NOW partners with other local youth organizations to provide scholarships to children ages 3-14 who otherwise may not be able to afford such opportunities.