By Will Patten, owner Hinesburgh Public House
Community suppers are the best way to achieve our mission at Hinesburgh Public House. On the first Tuesday of every month, Public House partners with a local non-profit organization to raise money for, and awareness of, a particular issue or cause.
The menu usually features locally grown food, and guests are able to support a non-profit while enjoying a good meal.
Hinesburg’s Public House is a Vermont Benefit Corporation. The company exists to serve the interests of five stakeholder groups – local food producers, guests, staff, the local community and investors. From this public and legal commitment springs the concept of the community supper, or as we like to call them, First Tuesday Dinners.
“First Tuesdays are always interesting” said Public House bartender Anna Novine. “If we are helping the local nursery school the place will look and sound like a school yard at recess. Other groups attract their own demographic. It’s never boring.”
On First Tuesday, Public House offers, in addition to their regular menu, a three-course meal for $20 and they donate half of that amount to the non-profit. For example, if one hundred people enjoy the community supper, the non-profit receives a check for $1,000. Members of the organization are usually present in the lobby with information about their programs.
Requests from non-profits to participate in this fund-raising effort have come from all over the state with diverse missions. We partner with grassroots organizations engaged in strengthening the working landscape or in building community.
Success for a partnering organization is solely a function of the energy invested. One of the best attended suppers was for an organization that very few people this side of Richmond knew much about, Our Community Cares Camps. Because their board and staff did such a terrific job promoting the event, they attracted a big crowd and raised a lot of money. Grassroots organizations tend to do better than more established groups.
Interested organizations should contact the Public House by phone (802) 482-5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.