Alli Genoway, a longtime bartender who recently transitioned into working for Gulf Coast Distillers, was routinely in and out of the hospital as a child. That experience, plus losing a close friend to Stage IV colon cancer, pushed her to get involved in helping people cope with serious illness.
So last year, Genoway organized a carnival-themed fundraiser at Bobcat Teddy's Ice House in the Heights for the Periwinkle Foundation, which develops support camps and programs for people—especially children and young adults—affected by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The event raised nearly $6,000 for the foundation, leading Genoway to start planning another one.
On June 9, Genoway will throw her second annual fundraiser for the Periwinkle Foundation at Saint Bernard’s Pub in EaDo. And it’s for kids and adults: Grey Goose will provide a dunk tank, Whistle Pig will offer a petting zoo, and other entertainment options include skee-ball (courtesy Espolon Tequila and Aperol), an inflatable basketball shoot-out (Maker’s Mark), and a photo booth (Ilegal Mezcal).
Other sponsors include Fords Gin and Plantation Rum, with Katz Coffee offering cold brew, and Produce Brothers providing natural juices and garnishes for the cocktails. DJ Palmo will bring beats, and food is coming from Cantina Barba, Chapman House BBQ, and Wokker.
For Genoway, who has also concocted a specialty cocktail in honor of the foundation (the drink includes Grey Goose, blueberry and blackberry shrub, lime, and Topo Chico), hosting another fundraiser was a no-brainer. After last year’s bash she worked with Periwinkle a few more times, and after attending some of the foundation’s events, it was clear she found a cause that could use a boost from the close-knit Houston food-and-drink community.
“Watching these kids construct a garden had them so distracted that they forgot about the IV in their arm,” she said. “Being a sick kid myself when I was younger, I know what it’s like for someone to come into your room and do some fun activities … and forgetting that you’re in the hospital. What they do for the kids and community is great.”
The event is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 9. Admission is $25 and includes two drink tickets, plus three tickets for any attraction or game. To donate, visit periwinkleparty.org.