First of all, thank you to everyone for all of the great feedback from last week’s post. Each week, it seems as if another chapter is written in our story. And that’s really exciting!
Mind you, I am not a festival planner. I am not an event producer, nor am I a PR professional. I’m just a guy with an idea. I’m a restaurant manager that you’ve likely seen if you’ve dined at Reata in the past eight years. I’m the guy who read Quitter, by Jon Acuff, and was inspired.
With the help of many talented Fort Worth citizens, the Festival has started to take shape. I don’t personally know a lot of craft brewers, but Fritz & Erin Rahr of Rahr & Sons Brewing Company do.
I don’t personally know a lot of winemakers but, J.R. Clark at Central Market does.
It has been the Festival “mantra,” to enlist the best and brightest in Fort Worth in their respective areas and let them do what they do best.
When Mike Micallef and I sat down and began to really talk about what the Festival should be, the main concern we had was how to structure it so that the city of Fort Worth could be the biggest benefactor. From the beginning, we wanted one of the main initiatives of the Festival to be philanthropic but found it impossible to select just one local charity as the Festival beneficiary. We decided that the most logical solution would be to create our own 501c(3) non-profit organization and that’s how the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation was born. We are still in the early developmental phase of the Foundation, but we have conquered some major obstacles already and should have it operating soon.
The remarkable thing about this journey so far, is the amazing reaction that people give when I speak to them about it. The question that I hear most is, “How can I help?” The tremendous response from you, the people of Fort Worth, has been amazing! As Angel Postell, Executive Director of the Charleston Wine & Food Festival told me when I called her last year for some guidance and advice, “During the first year, you’re going to need a ton of volunteers and people who believe in the vision.” Plenty of you have already graciously volunteered. Trust me, we’ll put you to work.
At one of our Executive Committee meetings, June Naylor said, “The talking point after this Festival may very well be that a lot of really hard working people, who are sometimes competitors, came together to pull off something special for Fort Worth.” Her statement really resonated with me. It’s going to take work and working together to pull this off.
Stay tuned as the journey continues. Along the way, I’ll be giving away some great prizes for those of you that are following. Use the comments section to leave feedback. Share with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Email me and let me know what you think. I’m so happy you’re here.