Jersey on the Bricks Brings a New Event to Benefit Habitat Efforts
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Theresa Skutt Artwork // Amanda Lovely, Freelance Designer
Last year, we featured a story about Habitat for Humanity of Boone County (HFHBC) launching the House that Beer Built campaign in Boone County.
What made this build unique from other HFHBC builds is that it involved several local restaurants and breweries in and around Boone County – too
many to name here. This year’s House that Beer Built campaign includes many of those same restaurants and breweries and one especially unique event to help raise funds and awareness for HFHBC while paying homage to the 20 th anniversary of the popular American crime drama television
series, “The Sopranos.” Do you feel old yet?
A couple of local residents and Cobblestone proprietors who are loyal supporters of HFHBC, Kent and Liz Esra, have created a special event, “Jersey on the Bricks,” that will take place at Cobblestone on Thursday, May 9 from 5-9:30 p.m. In addition to the regular menu, diners will be offered an alternate, themed menu and cocktail list that were influenced by actual meals featured in the series by various characters, including the famed “Chef Artie Bucco.” Enjoy specialty cocktails such as “The Tony,” “The Paulie” and “The Habitini” throughout the course of the evening.
Though not required, patrons are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Sopranos characters or their best impression of “Jersey Style” as prizes will be awarded for Best Dressed.
“We believe so strongly in the organization and its mission,” Liz said. “They provide an opportunity to people who otherwise would have no means to ever be a homeowner. It’s a great mission and a great thing to do. The thing that I love about this event is that it is so unique and creative.”
A portion of the evening sales for the duration of the event will go to HFHBC, and there will be opportunities to make donations throughout the evening.
“Our guests will be helping people, and that’s just awesome for HFHBC and awesome for all of us involved because it’s going to be a super fun event,” Liz said. “One of our own, Blake, who is a member of our staff, is going through the early stages of his application for a Habitat home, so again,
this is an organization that is important to us. And in addition to making it a fun night, we hope that it goes a long way in promoting Habitat and what they do for underserved populations.”
While last year’s campaign was inarguably successful having raised $90,000, HFHBC was interested in the idea of “Jersey on the Bricks” to reach outside of the craft beer market and introduce or reintroduce HFHBC to more segments of the community.
“Last year, we had a lot of partnerships with breweries and doubled our corporate sponsorships,” Liz Qua, executive director at HFHBC, explained.
“We are looking at how we can build on those kinds of partnerships and really expand on that. Without those partnerships, it’s really challenging to raise $90,000. We are always trying to think outside the box. We actually had an event last year at Cobblestone that was successful, and I think the brand awareness was good too for the local community.”
Amy Hartwig, volunteer coordinator/development director, added, “The attendees at that event [at Cobblestone] were able to go and enjoy dinner with their friends and families and enjoy the night more so than just going out and having a beer. We felt that was a much better experience for our
donors and a better use of four to five hours for the organization.”
“Our goal is focused on educating people about our organization,” Qua said. “The House that Beer Built is really important to us, and we’re really proud of that, but ultimately, it’s about people learning about what we do and getting rid of the misconceptions that we give away houses for free because
Qua explained that the selected homeowners go through a thorough application process, and once approved, in addition to the sweat equity they are required put into their build before moving in, they pay mortgages on those houses.
“We are reeducating people all the time, so any place in the community where we can stand on our soapbox and explain what we really do, we will do it,” she said.