Pamela's Punch| Ryan Kerrigan's Second Annual Celebrity Waiter Night Raises More Than $100,000
Monday, September 22, 2014
Waiters for the evening, from left to right: Jackson Jeffcoat, Gabe Miller, Niles Paul, Ryan Clark, Ryan Kerrigan, Alfred Morris, Adam Hayward, Shawn Lauvao, Braxston Cave
Photo Credit: Nicholas Griner Photography
By Punch Correspondent Melinda Contreras
Fresh off a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the real win came on Monday night as Ryan Kerrigan, Niles Paul, Shawn Lauvao, Alfred Morris, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Jackson Jeffcoat, Ryan Clark, Braxston Cave and Darrel Young spent their off night waiting on a couple hundred fans during a four-course dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Arlington. Between ticket prices, the live and silent auctions emceed by HOT 99.5′s Toby Knapp, Ryan Kerrigan’s personal donation of $15,000, and the “hugs from Ryan” auction, the Second Annual Celebrity Waiter Night raised over $100,000 for Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation.
Alred Morris presents guests with the main course.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Griner Photography
Before I talk about the great things that are in the works for the Blitz for the Better Foundation, I just want to start off by saying how great of an event this is for fans. I’ve previously spent a lot of time working in event promotions as a brand ambassador. A couple of the events I worked were autograph signings with football players. Though most people usually leave an autograph signing pretty happy, the experience would naturally be better if it weren’t for the long lines, being restricted to one autograph, and being rushed through the lines. With an evening that started with players working the room during cocktail hour and ended with the players continuously checking in on the level of wine in your glass during a seated dinner, the three things that you could potentially complain about during an autograph signing that is open to the public were basically non-existent during this event.
One fan chats with Braxston Cave and another fan takes a photo with Alfred Morris.
Long lines? You maybe had to wait for one other person to finish taking a photo before requesting a photo of your own. With ten players roaming the room, it was easy to find a player ready to give an autograph, take a photo, or even video!
Gabe Miller pauses dinner service to sign an autograph for a fan.
Restricted to one autograph? Players signed anything you asked them to. Though most people had the players sign footballs, I also had Alfred Morris sign my phone case!
Ryan Kerrigan discusses wine vs. beer with some fans.
Rushed through the line? At public autograph signings, you maybe get to say “Great job on Sunday,” or “That was a great tackle,” as the player smiles and responds “thanks,” before a line manager eyes you and signals you to keep moving. During Celebrity Waiter Night, players stood at the front of the tables to take autograph and picture requests to make sure everyone that wanted a photo or autograph received one. Also, though I wasn’t listening in to every word of the autograph signings I worked, I’m pretty sure fans were not discussing Game of Thrones and the players favorite beers with the players as they were during Celebrity Waiter Night. When discussing the event, Ryan Kerrigan stated, “It’s a fun night for us, too. This is a different kind of event for us, we don’t usually have the chance to interact so closely with our fans.” If you’re a fan that wants to have the opportunity to interact more closely with some of your favorite players, Celebrity Waiter Night is an event you’ll want to continue to add to your calendar each year.
Ryan Kerrigan speaks about his goals for the Blitz for the Better Foundation.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Griner Photography
Though getting to discuss my favorite TV shows and beers with my favorite football players is enough to convince me to return to this event, the real reason for attending is to support the Blitz for the Better Foundation, which was founded in 2013 “to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need in the Greater Washington D.C. area.” The primary focus is “to provide support to seriously ill, special needs and physically challenged children throughout Greater Washington D.C.“ During the event Ryan shared that he has a cousin who is autistic, and founded the organization to impact the lives of other special needs children. The Foundation’s signature programs include Ryan’s Reindeer Rush, a toy drive for Children’s National Medical Center, Positive IMPACT, a financial assistance program for families in need, and Kerrigan’s Korner, an electronic entertainment hub at Children’s National Medical Center created to serve as “a source of entertainment, a portal for communication and a diversion during treatment and recovery.” The first Kerrigan’s Korner will be dedicated to Blitz for the Better Board Member, the late Wayne Curry.
Celebrity Waiter Night was truly a one of a kind event. I enjoyed some great food courtesy of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, had some fun interactions with Redskins players, and met some amazing fellow fans. One fan I met purchased a ticket so she could send an autographed football to her dad currently living in New York. He was been ill and she wanted to do something to cheer him up. I’m sure he’ll love the autographs, and all the photos and video she gathered. It was great to see that the impact of this event was going to be felt in many different ways.
For more info about how you can help support The Blitz for the Better Foundation, visit http://ryankerrigan.org.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if the players were good waiters, one player described a bottle of wine as being a chardonnay, but when he poured it, red wine came out. You can’t be skilled at everything now, can you?
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