By SHERIDAN CYR
An initiative by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain to inspire young professionals was taken to new heights last week with “A Buzzworthy Cause.” Nine local nonprofit organizations gathered at Witchdoctor Brewery Company, along with members of the Chamber of Commerce, and had a chance to engage the young philanthropists and encourage them to perform acts of community service in Southington.
CFGNB’s goal in the project was to bring together those who live and work in the Greater New Britain region in a comfortable atmosphere to network and learn about their communities, the nonprofit organizations that serve them and provide opportunities to make a difference.
“The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain was so happy to partner with Witchdoctor and the Southington Chamber on such a fun event,” said Kaylah Smith, assistant director of development and leader of the organization’s young philanthropy outreach efforts. “Even given the circumstances of a storm and constant flood warnings, ‘A Buzzworthy Cause’ still filled the brewery with dozens of young professionals and representatives from Southington organizations.”
To make it interesting, incentives were put in place to encourage philanthropists to approach as many of the nonprofits’ tables as possible. Each attendee received a passport that held a space for each organization. After each visit, they received a sticker. Three stickers earned a drink ticket, and all nine stickers earned a small prize.
Additionally, there was music, food from Paul Gregory’s, door prizes and trivia questions about the organizations throughout the night.
“A lot of people afterwards told me they had no idea that these things were going on right here in Southington,” said Smith. “We received really great feedback, from attendees and from the nonprofits. I think they had a quality experience.”
Taylor Crofton, executive director of Southington’s Chamber, said the night was a great success, despite the heavy rain.
“We really wanted an opportunity to get people together, and introduce them to some ideas and initiatives they can get involve in that they may not know about,” said Crofton. “Even I learned a thing or two! Kaylah and the CFGNB were a great partner to work with and we’d be happy to work with them again in the future.”
The American Legion, Bread for Life, C.E.R.T., Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington, LISA Inc., Lions Club of Southington, Southington Community Cultural Arts, Southington Historical Society and the Southington Land Trust all participated as Southington’s nonprofit organizations.
“I think the CFGNB did such a wonderful job coming up with the idea and making it happen,” said Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington director Joanne Kelleher. “It was well-organized, and we were able to connect with some people who also work with young children, like we do.”
ECCS is a group of educators, parents, grandparents, healthcare and childcare providers, civic organizations and community members who are invested in academic successes of young children in town. Kelleher said the Buzzworthy Cause event was a great opportunity for ECCS to connect with the younger population, and share some of their resources with them.
Both the Chamber and CFGNB confirmed they are looking forward to planning the next event.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.