Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Proprietor's Table Helps the Cause.

Kerry and I traveled back to La Crosse to host a fund raising dinner for cancer research. This concept really started when I decided to release my Dad's first tribute wine in my hometown. I knew that all the proceeds from that wine were going to Melanoma research but wondered what we could do to take it to the next level. That's when my brothers and June Gale put their heads together and suggested we make a fund drive for cancer research-and The Proprietor's Table began.

The Waterfront Restaurant was generous and not only donated their new facility but the food as well. So we had a good start and their generosity was instrumental in us surpassing our goal of $150000. Our chef, Mike Ellis, worked closely with Chef Shawn from The Waterfront and they jointly put out a 6 course meal that is still the talk of the town. The importance of the chefs joining forces is significant because the hospitals receiving the funds collaborated as well. Having people put their agendas to the side for 1 day and work together for one cause would have been made my Dad proud. Growing up in La Crosse, there were times when the two health institutions didn't always get along. To have come so far and for them to work together on 1 cause and my dad's wine beginning a part of it had special meaning to me.

200 personally invited guests attended that night. There was no ticket price nor was there a auction. We wanted people to come enjoy a part of DCW and to really get WHY we were together. Kerry and I reminded people through the night about finding a cure for cancer. My brother Steve, the quiet one, ran the program and Dr Medland spoke about cancer. He shared stories about living with cancer, having friends with cancer like my Dad and having a spouse that has cancer. Everyone in the room understood the meaning and opened their checkbooks. Of course my brother gave a little encouragement at the end but it tells you something about people. One can't underestimate the human spirit. The people of La Crosse knew they were part of something special and took it to heart. They came through when we needed them.

There is a lesson learned from this event. You don't always have to go big and over the top when you do events. You don't have to charge people to come or hit them up with a auction. Do something different and connect with people. Our guests knew what would be asked of them when they came and they didn't disappoint. I'm proud that I launch my Dad's wine in my hometown and I couldn't be more proud to be from La Crosse as the quality of people that live there showed by their generosity at The Proprietor's Table.

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