On the Friday of Grand Prix weekend in Austin, Texas, Austin Grand Prix teamed up with SPEED TV's Will Buxton to host a night of celebration, honoring the kick-off of Formula 1 in Austin while raising support for the Austin non-profit, Meals on Wheels and More. The event was a huge success with a packed house at Fado Irish Pub that ran well into the night.
Buxton's BIG TIME Bash was an amazing fundraising opportunity for Meals on Wheels. Guests were asked to donate $5 at the door and all parties involved were astounded with the final amount - AGP wrote a check for $2,135.25 and dropped it off with Thad Rosenfeld, Director of Communications for Meals on Wheels and More, and Nicole Sarkar, Director of Development, on the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday.
// This size donation can provide about 1,000 hot and nutritious meals in the Austin community!
Thad Rosenfeld, Director of Communications for Meals on Wheels and More, had this to share:
"In addition to being the best source in Austin for all things related to motorsports, the Austin Grand Prix is also an outstanding community partner. AGP is always looking for innovative ways to help Meals on Wheels and More in our mission to provide life-sustaining services for the home bound and other people in need."
The night wouldn't have been a success without Will Buxton, who MC'ed the entire evening, welcoming and chatting up fans, posing for photos and even performing his own renditions of David Bowie's Heroes and Robbie Williams' Me & My Monkey. A number of daring souls took to the stage and a few even gave Will a run for his money: Fado employee Ali sang the unedited versoin of Cee Lo Green's Forget You, female karaoke contest winner Elle Cayabyab Gitlin dedicated Nobody Does it Better to Will, and male karaoke winner Warren Peck serenaded AGP's Kerri Olsen with Prince's Kiss.
Will summed up the evening rather well:
"What an amazing night, and what a fantastic figure to see go to Meals on Wheels. I've got to admit, even with the huge numbers of people who pre-registered, it was still a wonderful shock to see so many people turn out at Fado for Buxton's BIG TIME Bash. I hope we did what we set out to do, which was to welcome Austin to Formula 1, celebrate the sport's return to the USA, sing some songs, drink some beer and raise some money for a worthy cause. From the reaction of everyone who turned up on the night, the atmosphere in the bar, the many messages on twitter and now seeing this huge tally, I think we can safely say we ticked the boxes we'd hoped we would.
None of this would have happened without Kevin Olsen and Kerri Olsen. They have worked tirelessly behind the scenes ever since the race was first announced, in the first instance to even make sure the race happened at all. Without their tireless efforts, I doubt whether enough people would have been mobilised to see the race through the vital planning and funding stages. I hope when the lights went out on Sunday they felt rightfully proud of the job they had done, and which they had done for no motivation other than their love of the sport and of their city.
Buxton's BIG TIME Bash also could not have happened without them. Austin is their city and I want to thank them for recommending Fado and organising everything. I'd like to thank the folks at Fado for letting us use their premises, to Kevin and Kerri for making sure it ran so smoothly, to TW STEEL for providing the fabulous prizes for the karaoke competition and to all the fans who turned up, who made it such an enjoyable night, and who parted with their hard earned money at a time of economic belt tightening for us all, to raise so much money for such a great cause.
I hope this is the first of many years when we will be able to join together, celebrate, and benefit the local community."
In addition to the hundreds of fans that gathered at Fado to celebrate the return of F1 in America, members of the F1 paddock were also in attendance:
- Will Buxton of SPEED TV
- FOM Cameramen and Will's right hand men Alex Chiari and Jean Michel Tibi
- Oliver Weingarten, Secretary General of Formula One Teams Association
- Jennie Gow and Jason Swales from BBC Radio 5 Live
- Journalists Sarah Holt, Adam Hay Nicholls, Ian Parkes, Luis Fernando "Ico" Ramos, Tatiana Cunha and Felipe Motta.
- Photographers James Moy, Russell Batchelor, Laurent Charniaux and Jamey Price
- Bud Moeller, Historic Grand Prix driver
- Fake @Charlie_Whiting from Twitter (Mark McArdle)
- And many other Formula 1 paddock personalities from the worlds of marketing, PR and production
The night could not have gone off so well without the help of numerous AGP and Meals on Wheels and More volunteers. Thank you for volunteering your time to help welcome guests and distribute information about the good work Meals on Wheels does and how to stay connected with motorsports in Austin with AGP. Also, special thanks to Fado Irish Pub, Craig Steckbeck, Scooter Womack, Allison Berguin and Karl and Debbie Olsen!
If you would like to donate to Meals on Wheels and More, please CLICK HERE.
100% of proceeds go directly to Meals on Wheels and More!
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