Art of the Cocktail supports Leadership Clark County academy

After a year off because of the pandemic, Leadership Clark County is back to hosting its annual Art of the Cocktail fundraiser. And, a location change means the event will be open to even more attendees that in the past.

Leadership’s 9th annual Art of the Cocktail will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. The event is always scheduled for Fat Tuesday and carries a Mardi Gras theme.

Leadership Clark County focuses on teaching about servant leadership and the importance of giving back to your community. In addition to information, Leadership provides people with the tools and resources to make a difference.

Previously, Leadership has hosted the event at the former Season’s Bistro, but with the closing of the restaurant’s storefront location, this year the event will move to Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company.

“We typically had it at Seasons, but we could only sell so many tickets there and there were sometimes people who couldn’t come because we sold out,” says Leigh Anne Lawrence, executive director of Leadership Clark County. “This year, we’re working with Mother Stewarts, and we’re hoping to bring in a lot of other people who weren’t able to attend in the past.”

The event features celebrity bartenders who compete to become the night’s winner by receiving the most tips at their bartending station. Most of these bartenders are Leadership Academy alumni, each of whom has created a signature cocktail and will decorate their area to match the cocktail theme, Lawrence says.

This year, the celebrity Leadership bartenders are Greg Rogers of Link-Hellmuth Insurance and Leadership’s current president; Brian Shampton, who is president of Reliant Restoration; and Jeannine Roediger, who serves as branch production manager at Revolution Mortgage.

Though most of the funds collected from tickets and during the night of the event will go directly to support Leadership Clark County, one celebrity bartender will be earning tips for another special purpose, Lawrence says.

Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital’s COO Steve Leep is the son of John Leep, who founded Stevie’s World of Wiffleball, an annual charity event that donates money to charities serving children in the community. Leep also will serve as a celebrity bartender, whipping up mocktails at the event.

All the tips collected by Leep at the event will go to Stevie’s World Wiffleball.

“I’m very excited with everything happening with Leadership Clark County right now, and I enjoy being able to share with the community everything we’re doing,” Lawrence says. “I’m happy we can be together again, especially since we haven’t seen some of these people at this event in two years now.

“And, we’re very happy to be able to give back to another non-profit. Our focus is servant leadership, and what better was to be an example of that than by giving back within our community."

Tickets to the event are $65 each, which includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, dessert and two cocktails. Additional drinks will be available for $5 each.

The event will feature a jazz band, followed by music for DJ Chill, and balloon displays from Balloon Dog Events, Lawrence says. Dress is business casual, and the event is open to the community.

Tickets can be purchased through the link on the Facebook event page or the Leadership Clark County website.

“Fundraising from this event helps us run our Leadership Academy,” Lawrence says. “A lot goes into providing space and meals for our participants, and it helps us offer scholarships for our participants.”

The dates for the next Leadership Academy – a program of monthly learning sessions about Clark County – were recently announced. Details about the program, including the application deadline, are available on the Leadership Clark County website.

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.