Care-a-Lotta, the Bartolotta Restaurants’ charitable fund, is announcing a significant fundraising effort for the children of Haiti. Led by Jennifer Bartolotta, this initiative was started by longtime Bartolotta employee Natalie Czarkowski.

Natalie recently returned from Haiti where her family, along with a church group, was assisting the Fondation pour les Enfants de Haiti and the orphanages and schools they run. Natalie repaired wheelchairs, built handicap-accessible structures, bathed and fed sick children and provided much-needed emotional support. “Things were desperate there before the earthquake, I can only imagine how terrible it is now,” she states. Since the earthquake, Natalie has heard from the director, Gladys Thomas, who reports that her hospital, school and two orphanages have been heavily damaged. The hospital is extremely crowded with the wounded and many have died.

On Saturday, January 30th, Bartolotta Restaurants will conduct a “Hearts for Haiti Bead-a-Thon” from 9:00 am-11:30 pm at Bacchus-A Bartolotta Restaurant, 925 E. Wells, where students and other volunteers will assemble 5,000 bracelets. Five different patterns will be made, utilizing the bright primary colors of the Haitian flag. All of the supplies have been donated by Eclectica of Brookfield.

The “Hearts for Haiti” program kicks off Monday, February 1st and will run for the entire month of February. During this time, Bacchus, Ristorante Bartolotta, Mr. B’s-A Bartolotta Steakhouse, and Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro will each offer a different bracelet, for $5 each, 100% of the proceeds will be donated. Bartolotta Catering at Boerner Botanical Gardens will also offer the bracelets during Sunday Brunches.

All five locations will offer a traditional Haitian dessert, Pen Patat, a sweet potato pudding with caramel rum sauce for $6 and St. Dominique, a special Haitian rum drink, created by the master mixologists at Bacchus for $8; 100% of the proceeds from each of these offerings will be donated. Care-a-Lotta will write a check each week to the fundraising arm of Thomas’s organization-The United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti-a 501c3 charity. Paypal donations are accepted, for those who wish to donate directly. This charity, www.usfch.org, regularly utilizes 95% of all donations for the direct support of the children. We ask for the support and generosity of the community to assist us in this vital cause.

“Our Milwaukee 4 Haiti”

Fundraiser to support victims of the earthquake in Haiti

On January 31, Lakefront Brewery and Our Milwaukee host “Our Milwaukee 4 Haiti,” a benefit fundraiser supporting relief and recovery efforts in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and the surrounding area.

“Our Milwaukee 4 Haiti” supports two locally connected organizations, Friends of Orphans and Youthaiti. Both organizations have established practices in Haiti; working to provide emergency relief at this time but invested in the well-being and re-building of the country for the long term.

The event includes performances by Cecilio Negròn Jr., percussionist from De La Buena and Kings Go Forth, performing Haitian style drumming at 3 p.m. Throughout the day, music will be provided by Chalice in the Palace followed by a performance from Dub District Reggae at 7 p.m. Attendees can expect to find Lakefront beer, prize drawings, foods from local vendors, a silent auction and presentations from both Friends of Orphans and Youthaiti throughout the day. Families and children are welcome to attend.

Drawing and silent auction prizes include items from more than 50 area businesses valued between $40 and $1000. As the event continues to grow, please visit www.ourmilwaukee.net for additional performers, supporters and details.

One hundred percent of proceeds from beer sales, silent auction and prize drawings will go to the relief efforts of these organizations.

What: “Our Milwaukee 4 Haiti”
When: Jan. 31, 2010
Time: 1-9 p.m.
Location: Lakefront Brewery, 1872 N. Commerce St.
Cost: $5 suggested donation

Friends of Orphans runs St. Damien Hospital, the only free pediatric hospital in Port-Au-Prince as well as two orphanages in the area. The organization, founded in 1987, is Haitian run with the support of international workers and volunteers, including two Milwaukee residents. The hospital, which normally cares for 120 patients, is currently seeing over 700 men, women and children with additional mobile clinics dispensed to emergency tent camps.

The second organization, Youthaiti, focuses on sustainable infrastructure including composting toilets, organic gardens, hygiene education and reforestation. Their work aims to break the cycle of contamination and improve health and crop productivity. Youthaiti was founded by Gigi Pomerantz, Nurse Practitioner from Milwaukee, after a visit to Haiti in 2006.

Our Milwaukee is a business alliance that advocates for locally owned businesses that provide a genuine, quality experience – in celebration of our community’s unique character. Founded in 2006, Our Milwaukee is a coalition with over 150 member businesses focused on making a more sustainable community and increasing the market share for their businesses.

“Our Milwaukee 4 Haiti” donating organizations include Burke Candy, The Establishment Salon, Stephanie Bartz Photography, Kangaroo Brands, Inc., CHARTREUSE, Freya Salon, Cascio Interstate Music, 88nine RadioMilwaukee, Beans & Barley, Hyler Communications, Riverwest Currents, Shepherd Express, Outpost Natural Foods, Kashou Carpets, Companion Natural Pet Food, OnMilwaukee.com, Roman Coin, Sweet Water Organics, General Beverage, Roman Coin, Alterra Coffee, Pabst Theater, Boelter Lincoln, Laacke & Joys, WMSE, Stone Creek Coffee, Integrative Health Services, Bella Vita Day Spa and Luna Bleu Body Bakery, Rishi Tea, Bliffert Lumber, Ink Designs, Invivo Wellness, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Moct, Latino Arts Milwaukee, El Guapo’s, Firefly, Maxie’s Southern Comfort, Murray Hill Pottery Works, Boutique Vieux et Nouveau, Art Bar, Enhancing Balance, Environmental Innovations, Inc., Keith & Pattie Prochnow, Holoubek Studios Inc. and Solful Fitness.

Lakefront Brewing Company


Friends of Orphans

St. Damien Hospital

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