We opened our doors at 5pm, with people already waiting. We had hoped to give away 24 gallons of Coconut Bliss--we actually had to run back to our office freezers to get more. When all was said and done, we pulled out another 6+ cases! And on a cold, rainy night in Eugene, over 450 people came out to donate their money and time...and eat our endless Coconut Bliss sundaes.
And amazing sundaes they were, in large part due to the sweet, gooey (and organic) toppings! Local natural food companies generously donated their time and their product: organic nuts and goji berries, raw granola toppings from Hummingbird Wholesale, sweet berry sauces from Sweet Creek Foods, luscious hot fudge sauce from PremRose Edibles, granola toppings from Grizzly Brand Granola, carmel sauce from Missionary Chocolates, fruit sauces from Lost Valley Educational Center, and a wonderful hot chai from Mountain Rose Herbs. On the savory end of things, Cousin Jack's Pasty Company (541-686-3211) offered locally sourced and freshly prepared pasties.
For entertainment, Jaya Lashimi and friends performed 2 one hour-long sets of kirtan & celtic-inspired music, with female vocalist Wind Song jumping on stage for a final song. And the South Eugene High School Drama Department gave a performance as well.
In addition, we gave away ice cream bowls (exclusively made for this event by local potter Amy Palatnik) to anyone during the evening who offered to appear on camera talking about Coconut Bliss. Amy's work is well known locally, and we're appreciative of her generous artistic contribution to A Night of Bliss.
All proceeds will be donated to four groups who focus on education and sustainability in our community. The beneficiaries of our 2009 event are
- Eugene Waldorf School (who generously allowed us to use their Great Hall),
- Lost Valley Educational Center
- Huerto De Familia
- South Eugene High School Drama Department
Over $2500 was raised -- it will be divided evenly amongst these 4 groups. In addition to the monetary donation (and our donation of Coconut Bliss), we gave our beneficiaries table space to share and explain to others what their groups do.
But we also wanted this event to be more than just "local", and it was. As the night began, Larry reminded us that-- across North America-- many others' "Night of Bliss" parties were already well underway, happening in synchrony with our event. Earlier last month, we awarded 50 Coconut Bliss tasting-parties ("Bliss boxes") to people who sent us their very personal expressions of how Coconut Bliss makes them feel. The winners of our Night of Bliss are listed here:
So, if you participated and 'played' along, how was your "Night of Bliss" experience?
If you have pictures, videos or commentary, leave us a comment on this blog entry. And if you have a Flickr photo account, please join our Coconut Bliss Lover's photo pool to have your photos feed into our pool of Coconut Bliss-related pictures.
We're already looking forward to next year. Thanks for helping us make this vision become a sweet reality and grand success.