5th annual Fat Tuesday benefit for United Way at Lot 10 this Tuesday

There are lots of ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Ithaca, and one of the best is the annual Fat Tuesday fundraiser for the United Way of Tompkins County at Lot 10. This year’s once again features celebrity guest bartenders and music from Casey Max and the DixieKats.

The DixieKats and United Way volunteer Lynnette Scofield at a past Fat Tuesday event. Photo courtesy of the DixieKats.

100% of proceeds from the guest bartender tips, a silent auction featuring donated goods, and any donations at the door will benefit the United Way of Tompkins County’s Community Campaign. The campaign supports 144 programs and services across the county, improving education, financial stability, and health for countless area residents.

Celebrity guest bartenders include City of Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick, Cornell Track & Field coach Adrian Durant, Cayuga Medical Center CEO John Rudd, and United Way of Tompkins County president James Brown.

Luna Inspired Street Food, which operates a food kiosk in Lot 10, is providing “original Mardi Gras style eats” for the event, including gator bite tacos, Cajun fries, BBQ shrimp over rice, fried catfish sliders, and cornbread with honey butter.

Casey Max and the DixieKats used last year’s event as a CD release party for their latest album, “Struttin’ with some BBQ,” and they donated a portion of the proceeds from album sales to the United Way.

While many non-profits use a large portion of donated funds to cover administrative costs, including staff salaries as well as fundraising expenses, the United Way of Tompkins County says 100% of individual gifts go directly to supported programs and agencies. Administrative costs are covered by the United Way corporate cornerstone program.

Cornell University staff may visit unitedway.cornell.edu to have donations automatically deducted from payroll or download a pledge card, and anyone in the community can donate at uwtc.org.

The event is from 5-8pm at Lot 10, at 106 South Cayuga Street in Downtown Ithaca, and it’s supported by Tompkins Connect and more than a dozen local businesses. It’s free and open to the public. Mardi Gras garb or gala wear welcome!

For more, follow 14850.com on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.