Bartender Party Benefits UPH Project

The second annual Shaken and Stirred Celebrity Bartender Party to benefit Universal Preservation Hall hit Prime at Saratoga National last Thursday with a spirit that not even a tornado watch could tame.

The clouds parted over the gorgeous view from the veranda as notable celebrity bartenders like Charles Wait and Cindy Lunsford took their spots behind the bar, ready to sling some drinks and raise some funds for Universal Preservation Hall with proceeds going toward development of UPH as a venue for the performing arts.

Event co-chairpersons Beth Smith and Brendan Flanigan welcomed over 300 people, with master of ceremonies and auctioneer Garland Nelson getting the excitement going. Music by Pulse Entertainment created just the right vibe for the upbeat evening.

Bartenders included Fran Dingeman, Philip Morris, Anne Marie Flores, Corey Aldrich, Margaret D'Andrea, Michele and Dieter Funiciello, Richard Lovrich, Ardie and Dan Russell, Heather Ward, Melissa Zieker, John Witt and Chrissy Goodness, all working hard to pull in those tips. The signature drink, "The Steepletini" was especially popular and a winner for UPH as Tito's Vodka & Prime at Saratoga National sponsored the costs, so most of the proceeds went toward the fundraising goal.

The biggest tippers -- and there were many of them -- got a rousing "thank you" with help from a handful of tambourines given to the celebrity bartenders to up the ante in fun.

Nelson gathered the crowd for the live auction, and paddles were waving excitedly to bid big. Preliminary figures around $15,000 the event exceeded last year's fundraising goal.

The Tattlers spoke to Teddy Foster, president of the Board of Directors for Universal Preservation Hall, about the event.

"The board of the Universal Preservation Hall is very grateful for the support of our title sponsors: New York Long Term Care Brokers, Palio-Ignite, Mazzone Hospitality, and all of our other contributing sponsors and donors for helping to make our second annual Shaken & Stirred Celebrity Bartender party a resounding success," she said. "A big thanks to our bartenders for their hard work and the community for coming out to support us!"

Keep this event on your radar for next year as it keeps getting bigger and better every year.