The Austin Grand Prix is proud to announce the return of Buxton's BIG TIME Bash: an evening of friends and fundraising for Meals on Wheels and More, hosted by NBC Sports' F1 Pit Lane Reporter, Will Buxton.
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Will Buxton, Pit Lane Reporter for SPEED TV, presents a TW Steel watch to Elle Cayabyab Gitlin, female karaoke winner at Buxton's BIG TIME Bash
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.
Nicole and Thad of Meals on Wheels and More accept a donation from Buxton's BIG TIME BashBuxton'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:
Will Buxton in Austin, Texas. Photo by Nicholle Jaramillo.
"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 have images you would like to add, please email us.
// Do you remember this?
Last summer we attended the Canadian Grand Prix and were elated to attend Will Buxton's Tweetup at a Montreal pub. It was there that we met Will, Karun Chandhok, "Charlie Whiting" (on Twitter, at least) and loads of people excited about Formula 1 returning to America! Will's been a great supporter of the return of the USGP - he helped us shoot the video above, which was aired at a vital Austin City Council meeting, he tuned into our city council meetings while in paddocks around the world, and he even wrote a letter to our City Council during one of the numerous approval meetings.
It should come as no surprise then that Will is looking forward to meeting his fans and friends at a pub this Friday, November 16 to enjoy a few beers in Austin! So we've partnered with him to host a great event at Fado Irish Pub in downtown Austin. There will be a karaoke contest for TW Steel watches and the event will make a positive impact on the local community, as we're asking for a $5 donation at the door to go towards our charity partner, Meals on Wheels and More.
So please join us this Friday night at Fado Irish Pub at 8:00PM CST to thank Will for his support of the F1 USGP and enjoy the company of F1 friends from around the world!
Today we announced an agreement to be an official supporter of Meals on Wheels and More of Central Texas (MOWAM). This 40-year old Austin non-profit operates about twelve varying service programs, with Meals on Wheels volunteers delivering daily nutritious meals to over 5,000 homebound individuals in Central Texas. MOWAM meal deliveries help elderly and disabled homebound individuals live an independent life while saving an average of $35,510 of state spending by keeping them at home and out of assisted living.
In 2011, MOWAM prepared 967,495 meals, placed 10,274 care calls, made 5,224 trips to the grocery store, made 786 home safety improvements and repairs, and provided 4,458 bags of groceries to those most in need. These services provide thousands of individuals in Central Texas with the support they need to live independently.
As a weekly delivery volunteer since 2007, I'm amazed that in less than the time it takes for a conventional lunch break, we can make a difference in clients’ lives by delivering a hot, nutritional meal and a smile. It really is that easy and fast!
Since 2010, we've been brainstorming ways to partner with MOWAM. We wanted to work with a reputable organization that benefits many Austinites immediately and effectively. When we were honored as #1 in Austin for Social Media by the Austin American-Statesman, we immediately saw a greater need to use our skills for social good. Earlier this year while volunteering, I snapped a photo of my insulated MOWAM delivery bag. I posted the photo to our Instagram account with the tagline: “For every “Like” on this photo by midnight, May 31, 2012, The Austin Grand Prix will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels and More of Central Texas.” The social giving initiative resulted in 14 likes, which doesn’t sound like much, but it is enough to provide 6 meals to those who need it.
On October 1, we shared another MOWAM photo on Instagram but also sent it out to our 7,000+ followers on Twitter. The idea was for AGP to donate $1 for every Retweet of the message or “Like” on the Instagram photo, up to $100. Within 24 hours the message had been Retweeted 150 times. To date, the message has been shared 300 times and been “Favorited” by 7 followers. On Monday, we donated the $100 check to MOWAM.
We will continue to lead social media giving initiatives for MOWAM that make it easy for members of the motorsports community to donate with the click of a button. Thad Rosenfeld, Director of Communications for MOWAM, had this to say:
Meals on Wheels and More is excited to be associated with The Austin Grand Prix, a locally owned and operated business that truly cares about the Central Texas community it serves.
Thad Rosenfeld, Director of Communications for Meals on Wheels and More, accepts a donation from Kerri Olsen on behalf of The Austin Grand Prix