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7th Annual Thirst for a Cause set for August 26 to benefit employees of Oklahoma City’s hospitality industry


By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

The 7th annual Thirst For A Cause fundraising event will take place on Wednesday, August 26 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Jim Thorpe Museum, 4040 Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City.

Started in 2009, Thirst for a Cause is held to raise funds to help with urgent medical expenses for members of Oklahoma City’s hospitality industry.

“The event was started by myself and a group of restaurateurs with the intent of raising money for employees of Oklahoma City’s independent restaurants, “ said Alex Kroblin, co-founder/owner of Thirst Wine Merchants.

“The restaurant industry is the largest employer in Oklahoma,” said Kroblin.  “Most of their employees don’t have health insurance and we’ve had an occasion of a couple of them having sort of catastrophic illnesses.

“This event has created an opportunity for us to help them, Kroblin continued. “The idea is that these people are really the backbone of our industry and we want to make sure we are taking care of them.”

David Egan, director of operations at Cattleman’s Steakhouse said, “Restaurant people are hospitable by nature, so we get together once a year and throw a little food out there. Alex brings a lot of wine and he throws a party for a few hundred people and when we get done, we’ve got some money in the bank to be able to help some people.”

“No other place in Oklahoma can you have this many good wines and this much great food under one roof,” Korblin said. “It’s become a great event.

Egan added, “You have the owners and operators of the restaurants here very proudly representing their restaurants, so you really have the best of the best.

“Through our non-profit Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation, we are able to give something back to the hard-working employees of our independent restaurants & country clubs.”

Organizers say that Thirst for a Cause 2015 promises to have an even better line-up than last year. This year 50+ wineries will be on hand pouring more than 200 outstanding wines, plus 10 participating restaurants. They call it, “Total Bacchanalia.”

As participants peruse and sample food from some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants, they will be able to meet and interact with winemakers from all over the wine world.

“These vintners, who represent some of the best wines available in the country, are coming all the way to Oklahoma to help raise money for our cause,” Kroblin said.

Tickets are $75 in advance and $89 at the door.  Tickets can be purchased online.

The Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity, so your purchase is tax deductible and nearly 100 percent of the money raised at this event goes directly to the charity – not to cover costs.

Representing more than 4,000 restaurants and members, the ORA develops the membership to do together for the industry what cannot be done individually.

Its mission is to promote, protect, educate and be the representative voice of its members and the Oklahoma foodservice industry.

Michel Buthion, owner of La Baguette Bistro and Bellinis Ristorante in Oklahoma City said, “A must to attend, and I ain’t kidding y’all. Lots of fun, lots of wine.”

For more information, contact Maddie Gregory at 405-942-9463 or [email protected]

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