What an iconic evening! The Gathering Industries have teamed up with Atlanta Mission to launch their first joint project: The Gathering Restaurant – a 501c3 restaurant that exists to reemploy and provide new direction to the Atlanta Mission’s community of program participants. Let’s just say, these two organizations have a big mission… and last night, they backed it up and did it BIG… like green Lambo BIG.
Last night’s fundraiser/press party reminded me of an episode of HBO’s show How To Make it in America and simultaneously supported a fantastic cause – creating new, inspiring work possibilities for those who are ready to take that next step in getting their lives back from addiction. For more on this, refer to my previous post: Introducing: The Gathering Restaurant. And if you didn’t get the “How To Make it in America” reference, just know the show is awesome and the parties were often upscale and awesome too.
After experiencing the evening, enjoying the conversations, and speaking with co-founder chefs, Lake Dawson and Alex Reethof, I better understood the vibe they are creating for The Gathering Restaurant. This concept is not going to be an Applebee’s or a Houston’s people – The Gathering Restaurant is shaping up to be one of Atlanta’s finest dining experiences, and it just so happens that its true north is relentlessly supporting the revitalization of homeless Atlanta Mission patrons. Here’s how I’d describe the vibe last night…
- Upbeat, yet not too loud, smooth, eclectic, disco/club playing female dj
- Upscale furniture, nice art on the walls, perfect room temp, early evening lighting
- The Food: 10 Atlanta based chefs/restaurants serving specialty or devours
- Oh my goodness, the food was amazing – had to repeat it…
- Radio Emcee keeping the event lively
- Professional photographers keeping the event flashy
- Crowd size of between 200-300 people total
- It was pretty glamorous, not gonna lie – I walked out feeling very Mark Wahlberg
During one point, the founders made a short presentation thanking the guests, staff, and benefactors for their support and asked them graciously for their participation in the silent auctions and at the pledge tables – it was in fact a fundraiser. Yet I would say the pinnacle of the evening was a short, inspirational speech made by a woman who completed the Atlanta Mission’s program several years ago and has since regained her life, career, and sobriety. She was nearly brought to tears, sharing how far she has come since her darkest days of addiction, and seeing such a dazzling event in support of helping others like her former self. She had a ton of courage to stand up in front of a large audience and share her story like that – and I realized, in that moment, that’s the caliber of people The Gathering Restaurant plans on hiring, those that are courageous enough to restrain their addictions and get through the effective treatment programs.
This was the first of many entertaining nights ahead for The Gathering Restaurant. They have many next steps to take and I look forward to keeping a finger on the pulse of this great concept. Next steps include finding the right space to plant roots and everything that goes along with that. We’ll keep you posted.
So Did I Give?
I certainly did, even as an underemployed student, because I give to causes I believe in and I can vouch for the integrity and spiritual fortitude of the people starting this non-profit. Their vision is clear, they have joint support with Atlanta Mission, and they’re certain to gain momentum through their partnership together. If you support fine dining and transforming the lives of God’s people, consider giving to The Gathering Restaurant today and let’s start building new relationships and making employment possible for those who have demonstrated a readiness to take the next step in their healing transition.