New Birmingham Restaurant Hosts United Way Sneak Peek

Members from United Way of Central Alabama’s Young Philanthropist Society and Tocqueville Society gathered at the brand new Blueprint on 3rd for A Sneak Peek for a Cause. Restauranteur Dean Robb and Executive Chef James Huckaby opened the doors of their new American brasserie restaurant, B3, one night before their grand opening exclusively for YPS and Tocqueville members to taste their cuisine. Robb and Huckaby wanted to host this free event to not only promote United Way’s programs but also to support the neighborhood since both B3 and UWCA’s locations are in Avondale.

Rachel and Chris Weingartner with Janie and Jemison Jones

United Way of Central Alabama’s Tocqueville Society recognizes local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions who have devoted time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting changes by tackling the community’s most pressing issues. With 780 families, UWCA’s chapter is the fourth largest in the country. This notable society is designed to deepen the understanding, commitment, and support of United Way. Young Philanthropists Society (YPS) is a group of young professionals who live and work in Central Alabama and are creating their legacy through United Way.

Our community, thanks to people like Dean and James is known around the world as a “hot” food city.  However, right in our neighborhoods, people are going hungry.  United Way has stepped up to the plate and is helping fight our food insecurity crisis by providing services from cradle to cane for our neighbors who are hungry.

Through a partnership with the Bold Goals Coalition, the Summer Feeding Program supplied 43,000 meals to students in nine locations this year. UWCA partner agency, Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, provides bags of food for children to have at home on the weekends through the Weekenders Back Pack Program. Over 108,000 meals are discretely placed in students on free or reduced lunch’s backpacks each Friday. Not only do these meals prevent students from going hungry, but they are also nutritious. United Way took over the Meals on Wheels as it was going into bankruptcy.  Without missing a meal, UWCA took over this program and now feeds over 700 elderly daily.  The program is almost in the black and is now working to meet the needs of clients on the over 1600 person waiting list.

From left, John Beard, Vic Adamo, and Ken McEwen

Success By 6, an initiative of United Way of Central Alabama, is dedicated to improving the quality of early learning in childcare settings so that children are better prepared for school on their very first day. Success By 6 partners with 68 Pre-K classrooms in public schools, private child care centers, faith-based child care centers, and Head Start centers across central Alabama. Working closely with the teachers in each classroom, Success By 6 School Readiness Specialists provide technical assistance and resources while sharing best practices to give every child an opportunity to be ready for kindergarten.

Those in attendance at A Sneak Peak for a Cause included Youth Philanthropist Society Co-chair Jemison Jones with wife Janie, Rachel and Chris Weingartner, Dotti Pak, Stewart Dansby, Susan and Rick Swaggler, Mallie Ireland, Gordon Martin, Howard Neiswender, and Nancy and Nimrod Long.