Imagine our surprise when we received an e-mail titled "First Annual Gleaming Toothfairies Pub Crawl to benefit Give Kids a Smile taking place July 16 in Soulard."
From Pamela Powell, The Hauser Group, Inc., 515 Olive Street, Ste. 1204, St. Louis, MO 63101, the e-mail stated: "I just wanted to send this to you as an FYI. Thanks so much."
The accompanying press release stated in part: "This new event represents another unique way for us to spread the word about Give Kids a Smile and raise critical funds to help the organization continue its work to provide quality dental care to area children that need it most," said Joan Allen, executive Director of Give Kids a Smile. "We encourage area residents to take advantage of this opportunity to have lots of fun for a good cause."
This drinking event will begin at the Great Grizzly Bear and it will "send participants on a day-long tour of six Soulard-area bars." T-shirts, appetizers, prizes, etc., are all part of this enticing deal. Apparently, Give Kids a Smile is headquartered in St. Charles.
Our first reaction was: why don’t these ass holes hold this event in their own neighborhood ("Oh, I wouldn’t live in a neighborhood with so many bars. Bars attract the lowest common denominator of people.")? What did the residents of Soulard ever do to these organizations that they inflict us with another damn institutionally sponsored drunk?
It looks pretty hollow to us. We recall the story told to us by a friend. One of her female relatives owned and ran a bar in Illinois. She had a crew of regulars, who expressed undying love for her and her bar. In contemplation of selling the bar and retiring, she asked her regulars if they would visit her at her home. They all said yes, of course, so she installed a number of concrete benches and tables in her yard to provide seating for these friends. Well, she finally retired, and - guess what - her friends from the bar never, ever paid her a visit. She failed to recognize that it was not about socializing or friendship. It was about booze.
This "new event" is sort of like in those old Mickey Rooney movies, where Mickey stands up and says: "Let’s put on a show for the gang," followed by singing and dancing. In this case, GKAS and their pr outfit stand up and say: "Let’s put on a cheap drunk, and maybe we can make some bucks out of it." followed by another group of slobs further undermining the residential assets of Soulard, making noise, littering and carrying on. It is all about the booze.
Is this what GKAS is about? Offer them an excuse to drink, and they will come. Is The Hauser Group hankering after some kind of public relations award for creativity? Do these people think that a bunch of drunks care about their objectives?
Our city politicians obviously do not care about the residential assets of Soulard. They boost Mardi Gras and every other noisy, destructive, dangerous and drinking-oriented festival that wants to exploit the neighborhood, all in the name of making the City of St. Louis more cosmopolitan and prosperous (that’ll be the day). The bars in Soulard could care less about the neighborhood, focusing on attracting every boorish, disrespectful person for miles around. The Soulard Restoration Group, the neighborhood organization, cannot stand on its own two feet, although it pretends that it speaks for neighborhood residents and their best interests. Now we have charitable organizations hopping on the bandwagon.
Our question: are GKAS and The Hauser Group, Inc. as hollow as their fund raiser?