Guest bartenders will raise funds for United Way at Lot 10 Mardi Gras event

February 17, 2015 by Rachel Cera

It's Fat Tuesday, and the United Way of Tompkins County is reprising its successful fundraiser from last year with an early evening Mardi Gras event at Lot 10 in Downtown Ithaca. Organizers say 100% of tips and proceeds from a silent auction will go to the United Way.

The event runs from 5-7:30pm in Lot 10's upstairs lounge, with live music performed by the DixieKats. The Ithaca-based band features David Plaine on alto and baritone sax; Casey Max on vocals and trumpet; Dave Richman on vocals, guitar and banjo; Peter Forlano on clarinet and tenor sax; Bob Fisher on trumpet and flugelhorn; John Young on upright and electric bass; and Mark Sammo on vocals, electronic drums and percussion.

Lot 10's staff will be assisted by guest bartenders including United Way director James Brown, local noteables such as Deborah Mohlenhoff, Jean McPheeters, Jennifer Tavares, and Laurie Linn, and several area media personalities, like Kellie Meyer from WENY News and Gabe and Nikki from Z95.5. The downtown pub has once again concocted a specialty Mardi Gras cocktail for the event, and proceeds from that will be donated to the United Way, as well.

The goal of this year's United Way of Tompkins County community campaign is $2,150,000, which includes proceeds from fundraising events as well as pledged donations from members of the community. Many area employers distribute pledge cards and encourage staff to contribute through payroll deductions. Small amounts collected through the entire year can amount to substantial individual donations. Last year's community campaign exceeded its goal of $2,088,000.

While many non-profits use a large portion of donated funds to cover administrative costs, including staff salaries as well as fundraising expenses, the United Way of Tompkins County says 100% of individual gifts go directly to supported programs and agencies. Administrative costs are covered by the United Way corporate cornerstone program.

Cornell University staff may download a pledge card at unitedway.cornell.eduto have donations automatically deducted from payroll, and anyone in the community can donate at

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