Hosted at the B-Side Lounge and Venable Bistro in Carrboro, 15 percent of all dinner sales, as well as tips, during the event went to the crisis center. For the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, the event was more than just a fundraiser.
“Financially is the obvious way,” said Jaclyn Gilstrap, secretary of the board of directors for the center. “But it’s also just awareness of what our services are.”
She also said she liked that the event allowed the community to see the mayors support the rape crisis center.
For the event, both mayors were given specific drinks to mix together, labeled speciality drinks. Carrboro Mayor Lavelle worked on mixing a drink called “The First Lady” while Chapel Hill Mayor Kleinschmidt was tasked with whipping up a drink known as the “Mayor’s Gavel.”
Lavelle said she had never bartended before, but both mayors were given a brief training the day prior to the event.
Kleinschmidt said the people at B-Side Lounge came up with the speciality drinks for the night. Both said it got easier as the night went on.
Residents from both Carrboro and Chapel Hill came out to see the mayors work their magic at the bar as well as support a worthy cause.
“I used to work with Chicago Women against Rape back in the ‘70s when that was a real big issue, so I care passionately about this as an issue and want to make sure that we have services in our community that support women after the horrific experience of rape,” said Melva Okun, a long-time Carrboro resident.
Marty Adams, another Carrboro resident, voiced her own connection to rape and support services.
“I used to work as a psychiatric nurse and worked with people on the crisis unit, some of whom who had experienced rape,” Adams said.
“It shouldn’t happen to anyone. I would like to support education to see if we can put this behind us.”
Other residents liked that the event brought the community together.
“I work at the center, and I’m really excited that they put this event together because it brings us all together into a really cool spot to support a cause we like and really care about,” said Gentry Hodnett, who is the administrative services coordinator for the center.
Gilstrap said she enjoys events that bring the community together in unique ways.
“I also think it’s nice to have community-building events like this where people can come together for a cause and pledge their support in different ways and bring that into their friend groups or their family,” Gilstrap said.
“I think it’s important to have situations where they can come out and do that.”