BERLIN — It’s unusual when the words “bloody” and “charity” appear in the same sentence, but that’s the case with the Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) 2nd Annual Bloody Mary Contest at the Sunset Grille.
“Area bars and restaurants are competing for the title of best ‘bloody’ bar in Ocean City,” said WYFCS Director of Development and Donor Relations Stefanie Gordy.
Last year, the event brought in about $1,500, a number WYFCS is trying to double this year.
“This year we think is going to be a lot bigger,” Gordy said.
The event, which will be held Sunday from noon-4 p.m., will offer tailgate food, happy hour bar prices and unlimited Bloody Mary tastings all for a $10 donation at the door. Bars competing for the title will include Seacrets, Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon, Bull on the Beach, Liquid Assets, Crab Alley, the Greene Turtle and, of course, Sunset Grille, among others.
Each bar will bring its own Bloody Mary recipe, while Sunset Grille supplies the vodka. A panel of judges selected from all over the community will then award first through third place prizes with the winner receiving $300, second place is good for $200 and third place wins $100. Additionally, there will be a “People’s Choice” champion, who will receive the title via popular vote from all in attendance.
“They get a basket of cheer,” said Gordy of the People’s Choice winner.
Money raised by the contest will go directly to WYFCS for use in the nonprofit’s community outreach and youth programs. These include summer camps and after-school programs for area students as well as family counseling and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) services for children.
“We really use the money wherever the need is greatest,” said Gordy.
For its work, WYFCS was recently honored with the Richard A. Henson Award for nonprofit excellence, presented by the Community Foundation for the Eastern Shore (CFES). The award is granted annually to an agency in the tri-county area that has, according to CFES, “made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of residents of the Lower Eastern Shore.”
The Bloody Mary contest is one of several charity events WYFCS sponsors over the course of the year. Gordy noted that it is a common misconception that her organization is public and therefore directly funded by the government. Instead, WYFCS relies on grants, private donations and events like Sunday’s contest for money. While donations are needed all year, Gordy said that the holidays are an especially busy time for her agency.
“Our needs are year-round but especially during the holiday season,” she said.
Gordy had nothing but praise for the bars and restaurants taking part in the contest, especially Sunset Grille.
“It’s just another example of how [Sunset Grille General Manager] Buddy Trala and the staff and Sunset are extremely generous to WYFCS,” she said, adding that the Sunset staff had donated all of tips to WYFCS when the event took place last year without being asked to do so.
“They’re just a really great group of people,” Gordy said.
At a time when, according to Gordy, youth in the area are encountering trouble at an “alarming rate,” she contends that WYFCS and services like it need as much funding and community support as possible. Participating in the Bloody Mary contest, either as a crafter or a consumer, is a step in that direction, she said.
For more information, contact Gordy at 410-641-4598 or firstname.lastname@example.org