One for the Books: A Night to Remember

A small group of committed caring individuals helped me to create something truly special to raise money and awareness towards the disaster relief for Nepal. In fact, large in part it was those that I grind with day-in and day-out working at Linger restaurant (Denver, CO).  I’ve been planning a fundraiser with the help of Linger’s sister location Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox (a new music venue downtown in Denver).  They gave me permission and support to have use of Justin Cucci’s location last night, August 10th 2015.  

The week before the event we had only sold 7 tickets and the plug was almost pulled on the event, because there didn’t seem to be enough interest, but all the "Linger-ites" both Front of House (FOH) and Back of House (BOH) showed their support, as well as, my managers, and the show went on. The morning of the event I got word the three of my five volunteers weren’t going to be able to make it.  One had to go to the Urgent Care while another had just too high of a temperature to make it in.  In fact, every person that volunteered for this event is one of a kind.  I carefully selected each one, though they don’t know it. All hard workers, incredibly honest, and I knew would bring a very special energy to this event.  And that they did, everyone came through with style. 

It was indeed a great venue, for a great cause, with an amazing live performance by "afro-funk” style 10-piece band Atomga.  However, it was the people that were there (customers and volunteers) making it something memorable.  Reginald, the energetic host with the most, welcoming people at the front door, presenting everyone with love and Nepali Katas. There are those behind the shadows that helped bring the event together (Megan Baldwin, Shannon Jones, Eric Goodline, Bria Stade, James DeRoche, Lulu Clair, and Peter Kitzes; to name just a few).   The volunteer staff from Linger who after working hard all night without pay, gave their individual tips from customers showing a whole other level of support for our cause.  I wanted to cry I was so moved.

Isn’t it strange that it is in fact the hard working people that bring balance and hold up the pillars of civilization, not the wealthy alone; yet, these people are often so easily forgotten.  The most genuine and giving people I have known in  my entire life have always been the people that work hard and have less.  I am proud to be one of those people.  And I love each and every one of you.

Every single person there last night left happy from the guests, to the volunteers, to the band that played almost an hour and a half past their contract set, with no drama during the night whatsoever! How often does that happen in the world, let alone at an event? 

The All-Star of the night was without a doubt Paul Attardi for saving the event after my genuine but awkward speech. Paul’s energy demanded our hearts and ears.  He was somehow able to raise more money from the 7 auction items we had for the event (which included: a Buddha statue, movie tickets donated from Landmark Theaters, a new pair of Icelantic skis, Gift Certificate to Earls and Roadhouse and Old Major restaurants, and Paul’s addition of a bottle of champagne/china set) which amounted to $3,400 in addition to the incredible surge of ticket sales. Pretty astonishing. The people that attended were all so giving, even the ones that didn’t attend but instead bought tickets to save the show from being cancelled.

On the way home from work one day, when I was worried about the event, a friend made me believe, more than anything, that people care to find genuine and transparent people in their world as there tends to be a trend of plasticity in our society. He said that is why people support me; and that is what makes all these challenges worthwhile.  It is not the attention that matters to me, but the feeling that, as Margaret Thatcher puts it, "a small group of caring, loving, individuals can change the world.

Christopher Gish
President and Founder of the Seeds of Change Foundation