Monday, September 9, 2013
On August 13th I went to Redlight Red Light (2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL) to attend a fundraiser for barkeep Sara who had an unfortunate accident. While working out at the gym, she tore the lateral meniscus in her right knee almost in half. The injury left her unable to work, walk, or bike (which is her only form of transportation). The surgery and physical therapy required to get her back on her feet is going to cost between 7,000 and 10,000 dollars. While she has the love and support of friends in the time being, surgery is imminent and will need to take place in the near future to avoid permanent damage. Being that the price tag is a wee-bit heavy, Redlight Red Light hosted a benefit in her honor to help her raise the funds she needs to recover to get back to slingin’ beers and stealthy biking.
Some special kegs were tapped and all of the proceeds were donated to her surgery. Since I'm a fan of drinking for a cause, I ordered one of Sara's beers to sip as I sketched. Erica Abalos-Hernandez, formerly of Bee's Knees had some huge chocolate chip cookies for sale. She explained that there was a dash of sea salt on them which compliments the sweetness. I had to try one. It was so good, especially washed down with the beer. Later she walked the room with someones child on her hip. Sarah took her place behind the chocolate chip station with her crutches leaning up against a table next to her. I spoke with her briefly about biking in Orlando. She lives downtown and used to bike everywhere. She knows all the back roads routes to Redlight Red Light. She described her knee injure in some grizzly detail and I was glad I could help out in my way. The room grew crowded as I sketched. It was heart warming to see so many people coming together to help someone in the community.
When I ordered a second beer, my sketch started looking pretty good. Donated beer bottles filled a pew and several tables. There were silent auction items such as gift baskets, a meal for two at The Table (a value of $240) and $100 meal at Eola Wine Company. Donated items also came from Black Bean Deli, Will’s Pub, Dear Prudence, Oblivion Taproom, Wild Ocean Seafood, the Enzian, the Gnarly Barley, College Park Yoga, Stacole Fine Wines, Imperial, Sushi Lola’s, Lineage Coffee Roasting, and others. Artwork was also being auctioned off.
The Sara Knee-ds You! Fundraiser was a huge success. With everyone's generosity, $6,500 was raised towards barkeep Sara's knee surgery and physical therapy. Sara said, "To everyone who attended on Tuesday, donated, raffled, drank some beer, brought me coffee, drove me around, made me food, offered me a piggy back ride, or sent some thoughtful words my way, my sincerest gratitude. Because of the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received from friends, patrons, and small businesses in our community, I will be able to fund my surgery. I wish I had more than words to express how thankful I am. Witnessing the generosity in people has been a wonderful, humbling, life changing experience. There is no feeling more amazing than realizing you are not alone. Thank you."