Local cocktail will support Gulf fishermen

gagostin@bradenton.comJune 8, 2010 

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Two local restaurants are joining a nationwide campaign to raise money for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

The campaign, Dine Out for the Gulf Coast, asks restaurateurs to set aside a portion of their profits to the fund, which was organized by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Local restaurateur Tommy Klauber has registered his two restaurants to participate in the fund raiser.

The Polo Grill and Bar in Lakewood Ranch and Pattigeorges in Longboat Key will donate $1 from each hurricane cocktail sold this month to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

Money from Dine Out for the Gulf Coast will be used to support fisherman in five of Louisiana’s coastal parishes.

“When I heard about this I knew I wanted to see what we could do to help,” Klauber said. “The way I look at it is we’re all part of the Gulf Coast.”

Jimmy Galle, founder of a California-based seafood supplier, Gulfish LP, started Dine Out for the Gulf Coast for restaurants to participate from June 10-12.

“It’s really simple for restaurants to participate,” Galle said.

“It’s set up so every restaurant creates their own program.”

Dine Out for the Gulf Coast has about 100 participating restaurants registered so far. Some will contribute a portion of total sales for the day, some will donate sales from menu items and like, Klauber’s establishments, some will let speciality cocktails be the fund raising source.

Klauber, however, said he will honor the fund raiser all month.

“I just didn’t think that I could raise very much money in two days,” said Klauber, who estimates he’s sold about 100 hurricane cocktails since June 1.

Dine Out for the Gulf Coast could inspire a similar fund raiser locally.

Cortez fisherman Glenn Brooks, who is president of the Gulf Fishermen’s Association, said the Florida non-profit is working with food and beverage companies in California on organizing a fund raiser.

Brooks wouldn’t disclose details of the work in progress but said it would help support fishermen based in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We’ve lost some of our traditional fishing grounds already that we can’t fish in right now because of the oil spill,” Brooks said. “Probably over 50 percent of fishing grounds have been impacted. Income wise it hasn’t hurt us a whole lot here yet.”

Klauber said he would be interested in participating in a fund raiser supporting local fishermen impacted by the oil spill.

“For me it’s really knowing whose organization would be big enough to be able to accomplish it,” Klauber said. “But most definitely we would participate.”

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