Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Put Me on Your Calendar!

I'm the type of girl... who loves to have something on the calendar to look forward to, something fun on the horizon. I've got two things coming up that are going to be great fun, and I'd love you to join me.

Now, you know how it is: you hear something tragic, you think, "Somebody should..." and then you get on about the business of being you and before you know it, the tragedy is out of your consciousness and you are dealing with your own problems. Or, you hear about somebody doing something about that tragedy and it inspires you to get involved.  That's just how it happened.

Clean water AND an ice ball
The "somebody" is Doc Hendley and the "something" is Wine to Water. According to CNN, countless families worldwide, and me, he's a Hero. CNN named him a Hero of the Year, about six years after he started working on the problem of water-borne illness. Back in 2003, his consciousness was awakened to the problem and by August of the following year, he was living in Darfur, Sudan, helping the locals get clean water.

Seriously? Darfur? I wouldn't even want to visit. To demonstrate my amazing power over understatement, I will say that it is dangerous. How dangerous? His team was there for a year and two of them got killed. Instead of abandoning the project, he continues to this day, to travel to underdeveloped, war-ravaged countries. 

Why? You're probably better off asking me than him. He could tell you things that would break your heart. I can tell you that every 20 seconds, a child dies from water-borne disease. There are 7 billion people living on Earth, and 1 billion of us lack access to clean water. His 501(c)(3) charity, Wine to Water, currently has projects in Haiti, India, Peru, Cambodia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sudan. There are lots of ways to get involvedand no amount of money is too small to give. 

But if you know me at all, you know I've got something in mind. Next Monday, April 8, I'll be working at the Delafield Brewhaus. I'll be mixing drinks and tapping beer and running food just like always, but here's what's different: I'll be giving all my tips to Doc Hendley's Wine to Water. Every dollar. We're going to save lives together. If even one less family watches their little one die, we will have done something great. Please come out; I'll do my best to show you a good time!

I'm reading it right now...
The other fun thing on my calendar is a book signing at another job, the Great Lakes Distillery. I am not normally so stoked about a book signing, but this particular book is so interesting; I can't turn a page without learning something strange and new and wonderful that opens my mind to the miracles of life all around us. The book is called The Drunken Botanist, and its subject matter is the flora that go into beverage alcohol. I have so far learned which organism was the first to be domesticated by humans, the gift we gave France that ended up wiping out its wine industry (and the resultant impact that decimation had on brandy and absinthe), where Belgian lambic brewers think the best yeast comes from and I could go on and on and on. The author, Amy Stewart, will be at the Distillery on April 10th. The rest of the tour's schedule is here, in case you won't be in Milwaukee on the 10th. If you're anywhere near as geeky as me, you will not be disappointed. 

I love to see you in person, so put me on your calendar and we can change the world or learn new stuff (or both!); you choose. See you soon!

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