Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Parched March 2012: it's a wrap

$20,000 raised and an almighty party by the beach wraps up Parched March 2012 .... first photos from the night

As tradition now demands, the third Parched March culminated in an exuberant celebration of the things we love: good times, great drinks, bars and bartenders, friends, fun and animals. 

We brought them all together at our wrap bash at The Bucket List, where Parched Marchers and their sympathisers clinked glasses as the sun set on a glorious Sydney day and a glorious month of toasting Sydney's bar culture.

At Parched March this is how we roll

Bartenders and their bosses, celebrity supporters, our fundraising teams and animal welfare workers all flooded to Bondi Beach to hear the amazing news: last year's Parched March total was doubled in 2012 to $20,000. It all goes to our friends at Animal Welfare League NSW.

Scarlet Minxes
The crowd was filled with flashbacks from a month now established on the Sydney calendar as a 31-day party: the Minxes from Minskys Piano Bar came in the scarlet gear which had helped the Cremorne sirens shift hundreds of the bar's Parched March Scarlet Minx cocktails.

Nearby were the boys from Keystone, whose venues hosted the Parched March launch party, a live slave auction, a dog show with our ambassador Dr Katrina Warren and the Wonderdogs and the inaugural Cocktails v Wine debate – the only cagefight I've seen where Penfolds Grange was served.

Parched March wingman Emmanuel Ordillo wore the giant dog suit seen at several of the month's events (and in our dreams after mixing our French Rickeys with our Clermont Cobblers). And roaming the crowd were the renegade group who performed Parched March's most extreme act of devotion: 30 Bars in One Day.  

Among this kaleidoscope of good timers strolled Stanley the spaniel, a rescue dog from Animal Welfare League, wearing his Parched March T shirt. He was accompanied by his pack: Tim Vasudeva, CEO of AWL NSW, his hard-working team members Danielle Nelson and Carlene Albronda, plus TV vet and author of Wonderdogs, Dr Katrina Warren.

Stanley was later found snoozing in a deckchair.   

Stanley - man of style

Emmanuel removes his head for a quick drink

Drinks at a party like this must be nothing short of excellent, and the menu was a spiritual journey reflecting the cocktail odyssey the Marchers had just completed around Sydney's best bars.

Host Mike Goldman and Parched March founder Amy Cooper present the menu   Photo:

At the Parched March launch, we'd been serenaded in the Graceland Room at The Winery, Surry Hills by internationally acclaimed Elvis tribute artist Elias Jamhour, and for the wrap we'd taken the Elvis theme up a notch with sizzling female Elvis, Jacqueline Feilich.

Jacqueline's performed and won awards and critical acclaim all over the world as She is The King, and she had the Parched March audience - particularly the hairier sex - mesmerised with her sultry moves and spectacular voice. "That's my kind of Elvis," said one bar boss, so entranced he nearly dropped his drink - unthinkable under any other circumstances.

Jacqui is The King

More than 50 bars had taken part in Parched March 2012, and this year they were to be rewarded with the first ever Parched March DOGGIE awards, including the coveted Golden Chihuahua for the month's Best in Show.

The Parched March DOGGIEs await their new homes

It was terrifically tricky to single out winners from a family of bars which encompassed large and tiny, glitzy and grungy, wine and beer, indoor and outdoor, beachside and urban, laneway and rooftop, east and west. The Parched March 2012 bars spanned both sides of Sydney Harbour, with one bar even plonked right in the middle - Island Bar on Cockatoo Island.

The eclecticism of our venues reflects the diversity of Sydney's world-class bar scene, and it made for an intriguing journey for our Parched Marchers - the intrepid teams of bar lovers who embarked on their sponsored charity odyssey throughout the month. The Marchers received DOGGIES for their efforts too.

Parched March ambassador and the evening's MC, Mike Goldman, presented the awards. And the winners were:

Best Individual Fundraiser: The unstoppable Marcher Natalia Krak. She coined $500 on her own.

Best Team: The Boozehounds, a team of banker Marchers who used spreadsheets and maths to log their Parched March progress and tallied up an amazing $1,170.

Sexiest Bar: Minsky's Piano Bar, Cremorne. For the efforts of the Minxes and also the eye-catching pink deco posters advertising Parched March.

Best Doggie Day Out: LL Wine and Dine, Kings Cross. This Parched March favourite staged an elegant and playful Yum Cha BYO Pooch fundraiser with two mates roped in to don the dog costumes, and gorgeous little cartons of doggy treats.

Best Outdoor Fun: The Alexandria Hotel, Eveleigh for a leisurely afternoon in the sun for people and their pooches in Sydney's biggest beer garden.

Best Battle: Keystone's head bartender Jason Williams and sommelier Sarah Limacher for their Parched March event at theloft, The Great Debate: Cocktails V Wine

Big Love DOGGIE: Name This Bar, Oxford Street, for a crazy, cool  live art show and  auction for Parched March.

Big Love DOGGIE: Guillaume Plaza, head bartender at Vessel, King Street Wharf, for his Italian Surfer Parched March cocktail and his skill at selling it to the beer-favouring locals.

The main DOGGIE, Best in Show, went to the Keystone group (which includes Winery, Manly Wine, Gazebo Wine Garden and Kit and Kaboodle) for their overall contribution to Parched March. The group staged four events during March and donated the month's largest contribution. Co-owners John Duncan and Paul Schulte stepped up on stage to receive the coveted Golden Chihuahua award.

We'll add more photos as they come in but here's a first taste of our funsters toasting the end of Parched March in style:

Jeffrey Ho and Dr Katrina
The girls rocked the bottles

MC and Parched March ambassador Mike Goldman... thorn between two roses

Fashion designer Bowie Wong
Tiffany Farrington keeps the boys under control

Good times for a good cause

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