Waco bar hosts St. Patrick’s Day benefit for local nonprofit

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 8:56 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Freight Icehouse and Yardbar in Waco is hosting a family-friendly ‘Lucky Leprechaun Party” with the goal of raising money for The Cove nonprofit organization that helps youth experiencing homelessness.

“Teenage homelessness is about as heartbreaking an issue as there is, and we have a lot of it here,” Freight Bar owner and managing operator, Joey Oglesby said. “I’m very lucky to be a business owner here, and I feel there’s some sort of social contract as a business owner here to make sure something’s being put back into a community that sometimes struggles in ways that we don’t always talk about.”

The Cove is a safe place for youth in the community who are experiencing homelessness. The nonprofit provides several resources for teens who may not have a safe place to call home.

“We provide a safe place for students, high school students, experiencing homelessness, to come and get help with their education, to get help with their basic needs and access to housing and we hope thrive into their adulthood,” The Cove Executive Director Tim Packer said.

In the 2020-21 school year, Waco ISD identified 248 students as homeless in district, according to The Cove. The organization has helped many students graduate high school by providing an afterschool program with meals, productive time, counseling and access to several resources.

“A lot of people don’t think of youth homelessness as an issue affecting our community here in Waco,” Packer said. “This is something actually and unfortunately is a very real, everyday experience for young people.”

Packer said The Cove will be at the event to raise awareness about the nonprofit’s efforts and youth experiencing homelessness in the area.

He also said, as a nonprofit, they are always in need of donations, so, the organization was grateful when Freight reached out to partner with them for this fundraiser.

Freight will be doing raffles for prizes that were donated for the event as well as a encouraging a $5 donation at the door.

The bar will be serving a variety of green drinks, including beer, Jell-O shots, a cocktail and a kid-friendly nonalcoholic mocktail. A portion of the profits will be donated to The Cove.

Vendors, including Slow Burn Cigar Lounge, Staghorn Jewelry, Hazel Eyes Henna Tattoos, and Willie’s CBD will also be at the event, donating 10% of profits to the organization. Facepainting by Maddie Brownlee will also be there, donating 100% of profits to The Cove.

Bear Down Brass Band will be entertaining customers as well as several games scattered throughout Freight’s open yard area.

The family-friendly event is for all ages and also welcomes furry friends. There will be a costume contest for dogs, and the winner will receive a year’s worth of free treats, donated by Wolfgang Bakery.

“There’s so much room out here for everybody to be able to enjoy themselves, for parents to be able to have a drink,” Oglesby said. “So, for these events, sometimes they get kind of crazy and parents may not always feel like being at a big St. Patrick’s Day bash with their kids, but, here, we think there’s tons of space. It’s more of a family atmosphere.”

The ‘Lucky Leprechaun Party’ starts at 5 p.m. Friday night.