Racine's new mayor had a busy day Saturday -- ceremonial activities far removed from that actual running-the-city stuff he signed on for.
Saturday morning was John Dickert's first ribbon-cutting as mayor, as he officially marked the grand re-opening of Old Dutch Custard on Spring Street.
And on Saturday night he took the first bartender shift at McAuliffe's on the Square, leading off a line of city "celebrities" raising funds for the Red Cross.
We haven't heard how successful the fund-raiser was (Yes, we have... See below!), but Dickert held his own in the bartending department, filling drink orders with aplomb (under the watchful eye of the newly shorn and clean-shaven JJ). Turns out he isn't totally unfamiliar with the working side of a bar: while in college in LaCrosse he worked as a DJ ... and sometimes filled in behind the bar as well.
During the few minutes we spent at McAuliffe's Saturday night getting these pictures, Dickert proved quite successful as a fund-raiser, garnering "tips" for the Red Cross collection bucket that in many cases exceeded the cost of the drinks he served.
Update, 6:11 a.m. Sunday morning: Ah, here's the word straight from JJ McAuliffe's mouth to my inbox:
Many thanks to all the people who came out to McAuliffe's On The Square's first annual fundraiser for the Racine Red Cross. The proceeds went to support the Racine chapter of the Red Cross. Those proceeds go to support disaster services here. This event was a part of the Red Cross' month-long "Heroes" campaign, where the Red Cross relies on "grassroots" fundraising to support its mission.
And many heroes there where. First of all, and the most important one is Katie Pedicone for approaching McAuliffe's On The Square with the idea. Katie is the Red Cross' community office director and her husband, Dominic (of the band 89 Mojo), did a great job bartending.
Speaking of bartending! There are not enough words to thank our great list of guest bartenders! Thank you so much to Mayor John Dickert and City Clerk Janice Johnson-Martin for taking the first shift. In the time they worked together behind the bar, they raised $205 in tips for the RRC. They were also very witty and put a smile on everyone's face with their "tip war." I just want to say that John Dickert and Janice Johnson-Martin are two very wonderful class acts. Thank you so much for what you did.
Next up was Joey Legath from all the Joeys locations. Joey brought his customers in to support a great cause and rallied to try to beat the Mayor and City Clerk. With a little help from guest bartender Tony Cortez he did it, bringing in $216.25.
Other guest bartenders included Jason Pratt (Milwaukee fire dept), Nick Contreras (Racine Police Dept), Dominic Pedicone ( 89 Mojo, Thoughts for Food, Jammin For The Arts contributor), Emily Breiwick (Over Our Head Players / 6th St. Theater), and Jay Evinic (all around good guy, aka J Styles). Their combined efforts helped raise $488 dollars.
Between the Mayor, city clerk, all our guest bartenders, 25% of all of McAuliffe's On The Square's ring for the evening, and $405 in raffles, we managed to raise over $1,700.
A big thank you also goes out to all the wonderful businesses who supported us and donated their time and donations to us. Those businesses are:
Asiana, Arts Metals Studio, Badger Liquor, Beechwood Distribution, Casablanca De Mexico, Cheesecake By Jewels, CJW, Common Sence, Copecetic, Dimples, DJ Discovery, Dover Flag, Henry & Wanda's, Millers Flowers, Olde Madrid, Racine Raiders, Salute, Shogun, Sixth Street Theatre, Sticky Rice, UnCorkt, Waves, and The Yardarm. These are the people who donated to our raffles. In these tough times they helped out a good cause. Please return the favor and support their businesses.
For more information on the Racine Red Cross, or if you are interested in volunteering for disaster services, health and safety programs such as CPR, first aid classes, babysitting, or donating to the Red Cross please contact Katie Pedicone, Community Office Director 4521 Taylor Ave., 53405 (262)554-9997.