Folks dressed in Gatsby-era attire waited in line to enter the dimly lit tent, music, along with the promise of food and drink awaiting them.
“Secretly,” of course.
The second-annual Gin and Jazz event in downtown Lee’s Summit recreated a speakeasy of the roaring ‘20s. About 200 attendees enjoyed a buffet catered by Smoke Brewing Company, drinks served in mugs as a nod to Prohibition, a silent auction and live jazz music from the Gerald Spaits Quartet.
All the proceeds from the event benefit One Good Meal, a nonprofit organization that delivers hot meals to senior citizens and home-bound individuals, regardless of their income. Volunteers deliver about 108 meals per day Monday through Friday, to more than 150 individuals.
One Good Meal director Roberta McArthur said hosting a themed event is a great way to generate funds for an organization that is fueled by volunteers and donations.
“I’m really happy to see everyone coming together for a night of fun, and to support such a great cause,” McArthur said. “Donations make it possible for us to carry out this important service.”
Emmy Award-winning comedian Elliott Threatt was the MC at the event, and performed a short set to welcome the crowd. Threatt performs stand-up in the Kansas City area, and enjoys volunteering his time to charity, he said.
“What’s neat about this event is One Good Meal,” Threatt said. “These people do this work unconditionally; they’re not in the spotlight.”
Rebecca Graham, personal curator with The Cocoa Exchange, donated a basket of gourmet chocolate to the silent auction. Graham took care of her father for two years, so she understands how difficult it is to care for the elderly in need, she said.
“It’s nice to know that these proceeds are going toward giving them (the elderly) one good meal a day,” Graham said. “That just speaks volumes to me.”
One Good Meal has been in service for nearly 20 years, and will continue to host events to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit.
For more information on the group, visit www.onegoodmeal.org/