January 23, 2020 – The Arthritis Foundation and Akron Life magazine hosted the 23rd Annual Red and White on Thursday Night, home of Akron Life’s 330 Flavor Awards and Akron’s premier food and wine event. The event features dishes from Akron’s best chefs, craft beers and local and international wines. The evening celebrated the top food and beverage talent of the 330 area, as featured in the January issue of Akron Life magazine and voted on by the public. Additional highlights of the evening included exciting raffles, an extensive auction and an exclusive VIP Lounge featuring specialty cocktails and additional chef-inspired tastings.
I treasure my relationship with The Arthritis Foundation. From my perspective, it is open and honest, give and take. It’s a great cause. My wife is diagnosed with arthritis and I am certain I have it, just won’t do anything about it. The staff are some of the nicest people I know. Everything is so well organized. Volunteers are genuinely appreciated. During my time spent there I am engaged and treated no differently than the patrons. I leave there feeling I did good work and was appreciated. As I evolve in my life, these are the places I will seek, where I will give of my valuable time.
Well, obviously my outfit is a big part of what I do. As I walked around the event, I received numerous complements on how I looked and this dress. It was truly a humbling experience. One woman commented how much she liked the Mandarin collar and the way the lines fit me. Okay, a little specific, but flattering nonetheless.
I served as a vendor liaison, making sure all of the restaurants, wineries and breweries had what they needed. We also helped keep the tables clear for patrons. Mostly we walked around, chatted with every one there and were allowed to enjoy the food and drink ourselves. Many people came up to me, remembering me from last year or some other event. I ate well, enjoyed a bit of the grape and mostly smiled at and with so many.
I look forward every Arthritis Foundation event, knowing I will enjoy myself, my work will be meaningful and I will be appreciated. An evening I will not soon forget.
Just as an aside, on this evening I had two more encounters like those I recently discussed in my “Marginalized” post. They do not bother me and in the moment, they are great fun. I handed each person my card with my contact information and have heard nothing, but I expect that. It changes nothing, it doesn’t bother me, it’s just an observation on humanity from my limited perspective. And if something comes of it, so be it.