Bar Tone Events
As we said in our last post, we were able to coordinate the first annual The Bars Tone Charity Event just in time for Adam’s birthday. We decided not to name the event after Adam, because we figured the band name and making the donations in his name carried his legacy, while still not drawing attention to the fact that Adam was an alcoholic. We talked about his story at every event, but we didn’t want Adam to be remembered as just an alcoholic. We wanted to honor the sweet, funny, talented guy that he was.
The first event was a blast. A local bar and pizza place agreed to hold the event and supply an open bar at a hugely discounted flat fee. We were able to pay them with cash donations from local businesses, and families touched by alcoholism who had heard about the event and wanted to contribute. Attendees purchased a wristband at the door or in advance online on the website we’d created, and they got all you can drink from the bar and all you can eat pizza.
You might think it odd that we were having an event to fight alcoholism at a bar, and condoning people drinking. But drinking and alcohol themselves are not the problem and are not what killed Adam. Alcoholism is what kills. Many people die from alcoholism, but many also drink responsibly. We didn’t want to send the message that nobody should ever drink, but rather that there are safe and responsible ways to enjoy alcohol.
We even had a car service set up, where after a certain number of drinks, the attendees were required to hand over their keys, and one of our volunteers would drive them home in their own car, tailed by another volunteer driver to bring both volunteers back to the event. That way nobody would be in a position where they would drive drunk. Bartenders kept track because everybody got one cup for all their drinks, and the bartenders would use a marker to keep a tally of how many drinks they had. Once they met the limit, the bartender would take their keys and put the customer’s name on it, and wouldn’t tally the drinks anymore. We thought it was a brilliant solution. Of course, there are plenty of rideshare services, but they aren’t free, and a lot of times people who have had too much to drink don’t realize it. This eliminated any possibility of that happening.
Everyone who attended had a great time, and in the end, we raised thousands of dollars for alcoholism research and rehabilitation just from that first event alone. We also got to tell Adam’s story and encourage everyone to talk to their loved ones if they see signs that they might be struggling with alcoholism, the way we wished has with Adam. Being able to spread that message while honoring Adam and raising money for charity, while enabling responsible drinking, was a fantastic feeling. We just wished Adam could have been there to see it.