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Happy Slapowitz's Toy Bash

Question and Answer time with Happy Slapowitz's Toy Bash organizer, Ryan Eftink

What happened in 2001 that caused you to make a commitment to recruiting toys for kids at Christmas?

We wanted to have a Christmas party with our friends. My good friend, Davey, and I decided we’d make it a toy donation party. If you brought a toy to the party you could participate in the beverages and food that was provided, if not we asked for a cash donation. That first year at our house we had close to 100 people stop by… It was time to get a venue!

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How did you come up with the name “Happy Slapowitz’s Toy Bash”?

We wanted something that gave tribute to the people that helped keep the event going. All the patrons of Rude Dog pub have always helped from the beginning and never asked for anything in return. That first year Mark and Todd wrote a check at the end of the night and gave cash from their tip jars to help. Another friend of ours, Nathan, brought several bags of toys to the event and one gentleman donates a bike every year. So I talked with my friends and decided to name it the “Happy Slapowitz’s Toy Bash” in honor of the unselfishness of the patrons of Rude Dog and the owners from that first year.  It is a name that means something to those that know it.

What is your relation to Smokin’ Brothers?

Smokin Brothers is my family’s company. I have always been in charge of cooking the food for the event with help from a couple of friends. I am not into name recognition, and thought that it would help the cause if a business was named rather than a person. Smokin Brothers is a Seasoning, Sauce and Grill Manufacture Company. Double D Supply is the distributor for Smokin’ Brothers products. They provide all the supplies needed to cook from the seasonings, sauces and wood pellets, to, most importantly, the bbq grills used to cook the food.

What can we expect on this year’s menu?

We are cooking for all 8 bars this year. We’re providing pulled pork, BBQ baked beans, cole slaw and baked potato casserole. Food will be served before the bands take stage, from a 6-8pm, on December 11th.  

How do you buy tickets? What does it take to enter? The admission is a new unwrapped toy or a $10 cash donation at the door. ‘Bashers’ will receive a wristband to wear, allowing them to get into all locations for that one donation. If you purchased a t-shirt ahead of time, wear that and you’ll get in free.

What else is happening the evening of the 11th to support Toys for Tots

We're having raffles for each bar that will be drawn at 12:30 at each location. Only 100 tickets will be sold at each bar for $5 apiece. It will be winner takes all. Each bar will have their own raffle box that will be given away, and the tickets can be purchased only at that bar that is giving that raffle away. The raffle boxes are made up of donations from our awesome sponsors. We’ll post on our FB page what each bar will have in their box.

New this year, we have one big prize to be raffled off. For a $20 entry you can win a Smokin Brothers BBQ grill valued at $900. Or, if you manage to make it to all eight venues and get your grill card punched at each location, you can enter for $10. The grill punch cards will be handed out at all venues, but Bel Air Bar and Grill will be where you can enter for the grill only. If you would like to purchase a chance to win the grill but are unable to attend, head over to Smokin Brothers at 1923 N. Kingshighway and enter there until Thursday, December 11th, at noon. We will be giving the grill away the following day on K103.

So you grew from changing the location from your home to Rude Dog to 8 pubs this year-is this correct?

We started in our home the first year and then quickly realized that it was too large of an event to have there. I’m good friends with the owners of Rude Dog Pub (Mark and Todd) and approached them about helping me out and having it at their location. The event changed from a Saturday night to a Thursday night. Also the free drinks went away, but we kept the food and added entertainment.

I have some good friends in several bands who came to help by donating their time. Jeremy Burford and Mike Renick were key contributors that first year at Rude Dog with their music connection.

That first year is when I got my right hand man on the cooking to start helping me, Kieth Seyer (Jr.).  2011 was the first year we added t-shirts and 2 other bars as well: Pour House & The Library. And this year we have committees helping with everything and we are an official 501C3! We also have had several businesses step forward and donate money and products to be given to the raffles.

We can’t wait for this year’s night - December 11th. 8 bars and 10 bands – don’t miss it!

'Like' our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the latest Toy Bash information.

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