Posted by Clark Lauren on Aug 03, 2018
Like a “Blue Moon,” the chance to be the chosen charity for a Music on Main event at Lakewood Ranch seems to happen once every two to three years.  For us, it’s a glorious way to make several thousand dollars in three hours of serving beer and wine to the families who wander Main Street listening to music and noshing at the food stands.  In hit-and-run fashion, we showed up at the wine tent and the two beer trailers, put up our banners and a few signs, organized the wine and water coolers, and started collecting cash while pouring wine and flipping beer taps.  Then by 9:30, we packed up everything and disappeared into the night with our loot.  What could be simpler?
As in many parts of life, the secret to success is in the preparation.  We got our invitation in mid-June when another designated charity dropped out.  Our club members responded right away, especially the veterans who had done our previous stint in 2015:  Mary-Lynn, both Carolyns, and Carmen, who is our most skillful organizer of volunteers, coolers, and schedules.  Steve (our wine steward) managed the wine, Jenny  Shaw the water, Jeanine communications, and I had paperwork and signs.  During several post-lunch sessions of the all-volunteer MoM army, we got our act together in quick order.
With two pages of instructions from the MoM staff, I filled out forms for our one-night temporary liquor license and then visited the Florida Dept of Revenue to register for sales tax (who knew as a non-profit we have to pay sales tax?), then to Bradenton for a Zoning Permit ($50) to sell booze at MoM (had to give them a chart of our locations), to my bank for a signature notarization, and then all of that to a mailbox where it went to the ABT (Div. of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco) Office in Ft. Myers with a $25 check for our license, which arrived by email in three days!  Such service!
For those who care, Kiwanis International covers its local chapters, like us, with all kinds of liability insurance, including Liquor liability, which means we don’t have to pay for it.  After some corrections, the insurance certificate came and I forwarded that with the license to MoM staff in mid-July.  I breathed a sigh of relief that we were now legal.
The result of all this effort is the following:  We sold 120 bottles of water, 37 bottles of wine, and 129.16 gallons of beer in 16 oz. cups; and collected $400 in tips.  After paying for the wine, the water, the beer, the sales tax, and a few minor expenses (cups, ice, sign supplies, & permits), we ended up with a net of $2,928.  Not bad for 3 hours!  In addition, we are supposed to get contributions from the other food vendors, and yesterday, I got our first (and possibly our only) check for $102 from Kona-Ice!   I am sending them a thank you note.  Our surprise summertime adventure earned us $3,000 for the foundation!  Nice going everyone.