Raising Money For Second Harvest Sippin’ In The Courtyard
In a city where food and drinks are so plentiful it’s sobering to learn the percentage of Louisiana residents that are doing without. According to the Second Harvest Food Bank, an affiliated ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, a member of Feeding America and a United Way partner agency, one in six Louisiana residents is at risk for hunger.
Second Harvest, the largest charitable anti-hunger network in the state, providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response, serves 550 partners and programs across 23 parishes from the Mississippi border to the Texas state line. Last year the group distributed the equivalent of 34 million meals through its community partner network in hopes of making food security a reality for every household in South Louisiana.
You can help their efforts tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28, by attending the first of this year’s monthly Sippin’ In The Courtyard Happy Hour series at The Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., in the French Quarter.
Celebrating its third year of featuring entertainment by New Orleans musicians, executive chef Matt Regan’s food specialties and the party atmosphere inside the hotel’s picturesque courtyard, while also promoting community awareness, The Maison Dupuy’s Sippin’ In The Courtyard series has raised approximately $15,000 to benefit local nonprofit organizations.
“We are so pleased to be a community partner with so many worthy causes needing funds to help sustain the work they do for our city each and every day,” said Craig Sanders, Maison Dupuy’s director of sales and marketing. “We wanted to incorporate a charitable giving aspect to these events, which have become popular with locals and our guests, and it’s been our honor to collaborate with such organizations as Café Reconcile, Covenant House, Dress for Success, the Louisiana SPCA and Drew’s Tunes to name a few. The work they do keeps the focus on what is right in our community, and we want to be a part of what they accomplish and contribute to the well-being of all. We have a fabulous city and community, and we want to play our part. We are also very proud to be able to provide employment for the city’s great musicians for these events. They gain more public awareness, and hopefully it will lead to more jobs.”
For the kick-off Sippin’ in the Courtyard event tomorrow, Alex Owen and The Messy Cookers will provide entertainment from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The Sippin’ in the Courtyard series is free and open to the public, but the designated nonprofits raise money when attendees purchase raffle tickets to win baskets of prizes and overnight stays, dinners, bar tabs and other items provided by The Maison Dupuy. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales are donated to the partnering organizations.
“The Maison Dupuy has been a longtime supporter of Second Harvest,” said Francie Davenport, Second Harvest’s communications and development specialist. “Due to its popularity, the Sippin’ in the Courtyard series is a great way for us to reach more people with information about hunger in our community and how they can help. Plus, it is a beautiful setting and a fun event.”
Due to its volunteers, food industry partnerships and donations, like they ones they will receive at Sippin’ in the Courtyard, Second Harvest’s administrative costs are less than 3 percent of all donations, which has earned the group a four out of four-star ranking on Charity Navigator.
“These events provide exposure to new audiences of civic-minded people, and the nonprofit’s mission may resonate with them,” said Davenport. “And people can help us in many other ways, including donating food, time and money. With every $1 donation, we can make four meals available to a family in need. We have more than 9,000 volunteers who make it possible to distribute nearly 40 million pounds of food across 23 parishes every year.”
New this year, and featured at the March event, will be a wine tasting presented by Bouchaine Vineyards from Napa, California. Reps will be pouring its signature Pinot Noir and Bouchaine Chardonnay. Specially priced bottles of the wines can be purchased during the event as well.
“This is something new for us to do for Sippin’ in the Courtyard,” said Sanders. “We think it will add another benefit and appeal for attendees. Michele Haid from Bouchaine Vineyards will be on hand with assistance from Paul Bologna of Paul Bologna Fine Wines to provide sample tastings of the two wines, their Pinot Noir and their Chardonnay. They’ll also be available to answer questions about the process and wines produced by Bouchaine Vineyards. The two wines presented are cultivated in the Carneros District of the Napa Valley region. If the patrons at Sippin’ enjoy the wines, they will have an opportunity to purchase bottles at an exclusive price.”
Each monthly Sippin’ in the Courtyard event will offer a specialty cocktail and Happy Hour prices for select wine, beer and small plates. The boutique hotel’s Bistreaux Restaurant’s regular bar and daily dinner menus will be available, and complimentary parking will be provided in the covered garage based on availability.
“We aspire to be a community player because we gain such satisfaction in helping these organizations fulfill their missions,” said Sanders. “We think it’s a good way to give back to the people that have been so loyal to The Maison Dupuy over the years. Locals frequent and love our Bistreaux Restaurant, our Sunday Jazz Brunch, our beautiful courtyard for their weddings and so much more. Much of our success is directly related to the support we receive each day from the citizens of New Orleans, and we are thankful. We also hope locals will come rediscover our gem of a hotel in this charming part of the French Quarter.”
Future 2018 Sippin’ in the Courtyard spring and fall dates, musicians and benefactors include:
Wednesday, March 28
Entertainment: Alex Owen & The Messy Cookers
Benefactor: Second Harvest Food Bank
Wednesday, April 25
Entertainment: Amanda Ducorbier
Benefactor: Arts Council New Orleans
Wednesday, May 30
Entertainment: Tim Laughlin
Benefactor: Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans
Sippin’ in the Courtyard takes a break during the summer, and entertainment and benefactors for the fall leg of the series are yet to be determined for Wednesday, Sept. 26, Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Friday, Nov. 30 (Christmas celebration and tree lighting ceremony).