Jupiter to host benefit for Secret Meals for Hungry ChildrenBy Bobby Atkinson | 02/29/2012 11:10pm
The Jupiter Bar and Grill will host the Secret on the Strip tonight at 9 p.m., an event planned by a group of seniors majoring in public relations to help raise money and awareness for Secret Meals for Hungry Children.
According to Meredith Maitrejean, the event is a group project for APR 419 that is designed to give students an opportunity to create a development thesis for their portfolio while still being able to help with a cause.
“Secret Meals for Hungry Children is an organization sponsored by the Alabama Credit Union that provides weekend meals to hungry children,” Maitrejean said. “Teachers make the recommendations for which children seem to need the meals.”
The program currently provides weekend meals to 733 children across the state, 392 of those in Tuscaloosa. Each week, based on teacher recommendation, volunteers drop off the 3.5 pound, vitamin-enriched meal kits on Thursday, with the teachers putting the kits in the children’s backpacks during recess.
Teachers make their recommendations based not on the individual child’s income level, but based on things such as hoarding food on Fridays or overeating on Mondays.
“Teachers call the ACU and report they think these kids aren’t eating on the weekends,” Maitrejean said. “The kids never really know where it comes from, they are just glad to have it ... The parents most of the time don’t even know the kids are getting food.”
Maitrejean, along with fellow group members Jenna Snyder, Anna Kate Delavan, Todd Gross and Katie Brazeal, chose the Jupiter as the venue for their event because of the newly-renovated bar’s size and bar owner Jeremiah Jones’ willingness to help.
“Almost always when someone comes to me with one of these nonprofit things, I’ll offer them the room for free, and if it’s something I’m really into, I’ll cover the production and security cost for the night just out of my pocket,” Jones said. “Basically, I’ll say, ‘If you’ll provide some sort of letter saying I made this donation, I’ll cover the cost for you.’”
According to Jones, the Jupiter will donate all profits made from the cover, which will be $3 for the first 200 people, $5 for 200 to 500, and $10 for 500 to the capacity of 658. The Jupiter will also donate a dollar for each $2 kamikaze shot sold. In addition to the kamikaze shots, the Jupiter will have $2 Bud Light Platinum and two separate bands are playing – Nightfires and the Midtown Moondogies.
“I think these are some pretty new bands. Not to take advantage of the situation, but I am always open to having new bands come in and see how the audience reacts to them,” Jones said. “You don’t want to see the same 10 bands year round. It helps me out there. Plus, it’s good to support the community that supports us.”
There will be donations boxes set up at the Jupiter, and guests will receive koozies, stickers and fact sheets from Secret Meals for Hungry Children. The Secret on the Strip begins at 9 p.m., and only those 19 years or older are permitted.
What: Secret Meals on The Strip, featuring Nightfires and the Midtown Moondogies
Where: Jupiter Bar and Grill
When: Tonight at 9 p.m.
Cost: $3 for first 200 people, $5 for 200 to 500, $10 afterwards