Berkeleyside readers raise nearly $3,000 for food bank

Kelsey Itämeri Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Behind the bar at Spats at Berkeleyside’s 2015 Holiday Party (l to r): Lance Knobel, Kelsey Itämeri and Garrett Carney. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Thanks to the generosity of the Berkeleyside community, our Advertising Director Wendy Cohen delivered just short of $3,000 to the Alameda County Community Food Bank on Friday morning.

The funds were raised at the Berkeleyside holiday party at Spats on Thursday night, through the tips left for the “amateur-hour” Berkeleyside bartenders, aided by a wonderful team of guests, as well as the sale of raffle tickets. We are grateful for how accommodating patrons were as we all figured out how to pour the perfect G&T or, even, how to mix up a martini!

We are happy the Berkeleyside community could help the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which is a stellar organization: It distributes more than 2 million pounds of food each month and serves an astonishing one in five Alameda County residents — yes, you read that right: one in five. According to the food bank, one in three children in Alameda Count faces the threat of hunger.

Even though the holidays are when people tend to think about helping nonprofits like the food bank, it’s good to remember that it needs volunteers and donations throughout the year.


Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Willie Phillips and Malcolm Margolin at the Berkeleyside Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor

We have many people to thank for the holiday party: First up, Spats, in particular Kelsey Itämeri and Garrett Carney for a really great venue and party concept, and for being so helpful in making it all happen. To our wonderful bartender guests: Chris Winans, Emunah Hauser, Kamau Bell, Kathryn Tomajan, Risa Nye (aka Ms Barstool) and Robin Sloan.

And to the local businesses who donated fabulous raffle prizes: Cal Performances; Penrose; Keter Salon; Sports Basement; YJM Gallery of Fine Arts; Caviar; PIQ; Hotel Shattuck Plaza; Focal Point; Grove Salon; and the Berkeley Acupuncture Project.

Enjoy a few photographs taken on the night (with apologies for the poor quality!).

Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Andrew Gilbert (left) and Terry Regan at the Berkeleyside Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Deborah Matthews and Eric Panzer. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Berkeleyside Holiday Party 2015 at Spats. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Behind the bar (l to r): Garrett Carney, Chris Winans, Risa Nye and Kamau Bell. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Jesse Arreguín, Dave Nicely and Mary Nicely at Berkeleyside Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Scott Rosenberg, Andrew Leonard and Sylvia Paull. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Lisa Bullwinkel and Ira Serkes. Photo: Tracey Taylor

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