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Portland Margarita Week Brings in 10k for Charity!

By Amira Ansari posted 5 days ago

  

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The USBG loves recognizing chapters that are doing amazing things to elicit camaraderie and leave a mark in their communities! Whether it’s a low-key get-together, a passionate charity drive, a friendly bartending competition, or a simple chapter meeting, we want to hear all about it!



@Bradley Stephens is the Co-Owner of Epic Restaurant Group and Cereus PDX, the Chair of the USBG National Education Committee, and works on several community programs to help keep our industry connected while raising money for worthy nonprofits as the founder of programs such as Portland Margarita Week and PDX Cocktail Boomerang. 

In this blog, Bradley shares what made Portland Margarita Week 2022 a huge success in a Q&A!



What is Portland Margarita Week?


The idea for Portland Margarita Week was put together as a way to bring people back together after the tough last two years. Each year we choose locally owned bars and restaurants to partner with to showcase Portland’s fantastic food and beverage culture; and together, raise money for a worthy cause. This year we featured nearly two dozen favorites and have chosen El Patojismo as our charity partner. 


Tell us about Portland Margarita Week 2022!

Year two of Portland Margarita Week (PMW) completed [the week of June 6-12], helping raise $10,000 for El Patojismo, a non profit in Guatemala that provides safe access to arts and education for the youth in the region. This year, 24 bars and restaurants came together, each creating a unique Margarita for the people of Portland to try - each promised a $2 donation per Margarita sold during the week. Partnering with Ilegal Mezcal, Patron Tequila, Cazadores Tequila, El Jimador and Herradura tequilas, each donation was matched, allowing $4 total per Margarita sold sent directly to the El Patojismo team. The USBG Oregon Chapter, although not officially running the event, has supported PMW each year with social media posts/shares, and several Oregon chapter members worked for either a spirits brand or restaurant connected to the event. What a wonderful community we have in the USBG!



What were the highlights of this event?

The highlights were simply seeing all of the city-wide support. Getting phone calls and emails from restaurant owners and managers about wanting to join in and help, the local news calling to interview the bar managers and volunteer team members to find out how they could help as well. Then, there was the week itself. My mind was blown visiting the partnered bars and seeing dozens upon dozens of guests drinking margaritas and supporting. I tried to hit all 24, but opening my new bar (CereusPDX) made that a challenge. I personally visited 18 and thanked each and every staff member before I left.


When I first was able to speak with the founder of El Patojismo, he explained to me that our support was helping them finish their next school. Not kidding, I teared up. “We don’t know how to say thank you, my friend!!!" - Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes, founder of El Patojismo.

I’m so thankful for the support of everyone, especially the agave spirit brands that allowed us to match each donation. (Shout out to Ian Hanrahan for bringing El Patojismo to our attention).




What were the challenges inside this event?

It’s a ton of work to tell an entire city about your little event, but a lot of that was lifted off my shoulders by our brand representative volunteers.

Shout outs to anyone for making this event happen?

Shout outs to: @Ian Hanrahan, Ilegal Mezcal @David Halpern, Patrón Tequila, Jeremy Barkley, Cazadores (Bacardi) @Hannah Scollo, JT White, and @Alec Kennedy (Team Brown Forman). I’m so thankful for the support of everyone, especially the agave spirit brands that allowed us to match each donation. (Double shout out to Ian Hanrahan for bringing El Patojismo to our attention)!


👏 Way to go, Bradley, and everyone who volunteered and worked hard to make this event happen!

#chapternews



If you are a member of the USBG and wish to highlight a chapter event, please submit a request here or reach out to Amira Ansari at aansari@usbg.org.
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