My night at Cocktails with the Critters

May 4, 2018

Cocktails with the Critters

(at Blue Gill Restaurant)


Picture yourself raising your glass in the air as you propose a toast with a round table of critters, maybe an alligator, a turtle, an ibis and a duck; glasses bump to “life is grand at the Blue Gill!”


It was actual people at my table, but really they were happy critters in their own right. This was a group of like-minded people who wanted to give back to a foundation that is based on a good cause.


The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation was the recipient of this benefit. They were established to assist in developing new resources to insure the long-term growth of our Dauphin Island Sea Lab. It is Alabama’s primary marine education and research center. What a wonderful resource for our area! What a worthy cause!


I have been to hundreds of benefits but none quite like this one. The organizers and helpful hands that put this event together are spectacular.

There was an abundance of tables that displayed fabulous items that were open to silent bids. We were given 2 and a half hours to look and decide what we would be willing to pay for any that caught our eyes. There were artists who displayed their works and spoke of them with pride (rightfully so, the art was awesome). 


Your ticket to enter provided an opportunity to win a door prize. Three were given and they asked me to draw the ticket stubs for the winners. Oh the power that was in my hands…


This was the 3rd year that my son, Eric Erdman played music for this event. The people are respectful and appreciative of the music but of course it is no listening room. When you have people in a space discussing, eating and drinking, the music has to force its way out to them. Grabbing the attention of talkers is difficult in such an environment, but most listened as they fraternized. 


Even though the event was at a casual place, The Blue Gill Restaurant. They had dressed it up like prom night…there were white-linen tablecloths, beautiful centerpieces based in large conch-shells. Matching decor was hung on many of the posts on the deck and other places throughout. 


Many local businesses supported this event and their names were smattered here and there to add to the overall look. It was nice, the food was great, the order and organization was superb. 


If you see it advertised next year, make an effort to check this event out. It helps the critters of our Bay and Gulf. It helps the people who make their living from the waters and those that eat from the waters. It helps educate the children about the importance of the sea-life and the preservation of the waters that support that life.

How could you find a better cause?


It was a nice time of fellowship, shopping the silent auction items (of which there were many many). For me, it was a night to get a hug from old friends at Blue Gill, like Stem and Janet. It was a night I made two new friends Deborah and Carolyn who were delightful, it was a night I re-connected with a past co-worker that I had not seen for 35-40 years. 


The music was exceptionally good and was appreciated by anyone who listened and perhaps those who didn’t. (There is no place like a true Listening Room).


It was a great benefit and a wonderful night with the critters!


Juanita Smith

Music Mom



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