Saturday, April 12, 2008

Books, Bikes, and PARTIES On Wheels!!!

While there are some people who think that Mojo's, one of Books On Wheels favorite strategy centers, is just a neighborhood Phil-a-Deli, I sincerely believe that it is a magical place. Some of the best things that I've seen in Richmond have either occurred there (Punk Rauction, Dance Competition, Guitar Hero Wank Off, etc), been developed there (Books On Wheels' Richmond Library Tour, Municipal Waste stage antics, ART 180 Fundraisers), or have been re-capped there (pretty much anything that happens in Richmond).

And now I have something else for the list: The Books On Wheels Party Bus! This is an idea that Shelley and I have talked about for the past year, but so far nobody has taken us up on it. Basically, we thought that as a fundraiser we would rent out our bus for the night, driving a group of 10-12 people around from bar to bar. In exchange for a donation to Books On Wheels, they would get a "clean" and decorated bus, food and drink specials at each restaurant, and the best jokes that Shelley and I could come up with. Sounds great, right? Well, it is. I mean, not only are you allowed to yell out the windows, play loud music, and throw balloons at the bus driver, you are encouraged to. It is everything that middle school couldn't offer. But, for some reason, we have not had any customers.

Which brings me back to Mojo's. On Wednesday night, I went out to welcome our good friend Tobbe back to Richmond. It being his first night back, he naturally chose Mojo's to celebrate his return. While there, I ran into Ben Cronk, who asked how he could make a donation the BOW. It seems that Katie Lamberta, one of our biggest supporters, was having a birthday this weekend, and she told all of her friends that instead of buying her presents, they should just make a donation to us in her name. Well, that not only made me tear up a little, it got me really excited: "If you're all going to make donations to us," I told Ben, "then why don't we drive you around in the bus?!?"

I'm not sure if Ben mistook my slurred enthusiasm for a promise that I would regret the next day, but he gave me his number and encouraged me to call him the following morning if I still wanted to do this. Even Murty wondered "Are you writing a check that your sober self can't cash?" Well, Ben got a call the next morning, and we set it up: we would pick Katie up at her house as a surprise, and then hang out with them until midnight. I spent Friday morning calling around to local businesses and, thanks to the generosity of locally owned and fantastic businesses, was able to get them specials at DeLux, Mojo's, The Commercial Tap House, and New York Deli.

The night was perfect! Shelley and Steve blew balloons and hung streamers, and we made our way to Northside with a bus full of great people. Katie wasn't sure what to make of the fact that I was at her house to pick her up until she walked up to the bus and her friends jumped up to surprise her. The rest of the night was very chill. After a great dinner with some free appetizers at DeLux (thanks Harold!), we drove the group down to Mojo's for half price pitchers. Knowing the allure of Mojo's, I did suggest we go there last, but Katie was amped on going, so we headed down Cary St. Three hours later, I drove them over to Cous Cous (after a great tour through VCU), wished them a great night, and headed home. Not that I wouldn't have wanted to stay, but more because Shelley was picking me up at 8:45 for an event at The Twin Hickory Area Library. Which is where I am now, blogging while Shelley and Steve are fixing the 20 bikes that have been donated to us. I guess I should get back, but I did want to thanks Katie and her great friends, Mojo's, DeLux, Commercial Tap House, and NY Deli for being great supporters of what we do.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Thanks for the awesome time, Shelley and Ward! Next time, can you make sure to drop me off a block away from the restaurants? Thanks.