Thursday, January 2, 2014

Community Rallies to Raise $5,000 for Chelsea's At-Risk Kids

"It's like Cheers," said Misha, as she finished her Yellow Door meal on New Year's Eve.  "Where everyone knows your name," was my instinctive comeback.

The vibe at Yellow Door's NYE breakfast was lively, bustling and full of laughter and conversation. Chelsea Alehouse overflowed with familiar and new community members who enjoyed unique British-influenced dishes (thanks to Zingerman Chef Kieron Hales, who originally hails from England). CHS Students took the lead greeting and serving customers with a handful of regular YD volunteers filling in the gaps.

"It was fun and delicious... everybody knows each other," said nine-year-old Stella.

New to Yellow Door, Fawn (of Columbus) was thrilled to stumble upon the alehouse and the breakfast to help the area's at-risk kids. Chef Kieron had run into Fawn and her trio of friends, Derrek, Monica and Charles,
 the night before and had encouraged them to attend. It was a great introduction to Chelsea and its community spirit, particularly for Charles who just relocated here.  

We learned about and savored "Bubble & Squeak" -- an Irish/British tradition of frying potatoes with cabbage and other vegetables -- and dug into the sustainably farmed salmon, which Chef Kieron smoked the night before in his Chelsea backyard. The salmon topped a fluffy crumpet and rich-tasting scrambled eggs. Chelsea Alehouse offered beermosas and many customers enjoyed a glass -- and some even enjoyed a flight of Brewmaster Chris Martinson's brews.

"An integral part of our mission from the start has been to offer the alehouse as a community space," said Chris. He's thrilled with the  informal "partnership" with Yellow Door and the ability to offer the space to Yellow Door to aid nonprofits in the region.

The doors opened at 9:00 a.m. and the first order was already in play. Community members filed in through the morning and filled the alehouse until after Yellow Door's 'official' closing at noon.

At the end, when Janice and Jane, Yellow Door co-founders, did a final tally of funds raised, they realized they were $100 short of $5,000 ($1,000 above the original goal). In a "George Baily" moment, said Janice, the hat was passed and everyone chipped in pocket change -- from $7 to whatever -- to reach the $5,000 mark.

Chelsea School District Social Worker Beth Morris was overwhelmed with the breakfast's success, and is thrilled the funds will be used to provide living essentials -- such as coats, lunches and hygiene products -- and funds for field trips, yearbooks and caps and gowns for school-age kids.

And that, my friends, was a great way to wrap up 2013 and toast the New Year.

Enjoy viewing an album of photographs from the breakfast at:


No comments:

Post a Comment