NEW BEDFORD — Jazz, Jambalaya, and … philanthropy? On Fat Tuesday, the Greasy Luck Brewpub was packed as supporters poured in (and poured up) to support the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford.
Attendees donned Mardi Gras masks and beads as they swayed to the rhythms of the Southcoast Brass Band.
The “club,” as it’s fondly called, organizes several fundraisers each year to support programming for the more than 1,200 local youth that it serves annually. As the Boys & Girls Club seeks to innovate its usual fundraisers, this special Mardis Gras event was a first.
And what made this traditional New Orleans bash all the more unique was the involvement of Boys & Girls Club youth in the process.
“The kids really did this amazing work with the masks for the party,” said board member and former club participant Dr. Mike Rocha.
“So, it’s an event that they participated in … We actually did a mean Mardi Gras party for the kids on Thursday, so that as they worked on their artwork they could be exposed to the music, throw on their masks and beads, run around, and have a good time.”
The soundtrack for both occasions was none other than Rocha’s own Southcoast Brass Band. As sponsors marched to the saints and twirled to the trombone, Greasy Luck offered themed “hurricane” drinks to wash down a New Orleans-style buffet.
Along with food and entertainment, the fundraiser offered an auction with items from youth-made masks and artwork by New Bedford Public School students, to tickets for the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center and the New Bedford JazzFest.
With a capacity for more than 200 attendees, the event aimed to bring in more than $10,000, which will fund Boys & Girls club activities.
Mark Martinho, co-owner of Greasy Luck, was eager to open the brewpub for the club. On Fat Tuesday, it was Boys & Girls Club, but don’t be surprised to continue seeing goodwill paired with good times at the Union Street pub.
“We’re excited to be a part of what’s what’s happening downtown,” Martinho said. “There is so much synergy with local businesses, organizations and the arts, and we want to be a part of it. We want to give back ... it’s what we're all about. People working together, and that’s something to be proud of.”