It was supposed to be a spectacular night for FareStart, the lauded non-profit providing culinary training for people who are homeless or otherwise in need. Its first annual “Guest Chef Spectacular” fund-raiser featuring nibbles and drinks from dozens of restaurants, wineries, and breweries was supposed to take place last Thursday. Then, it was over before it began, with this message from the organization Thursday:
“During set-up for the event at Showbox SoDo, a structural beam in the ceiling cracked. The building was evacuated safely and there were no injuries. Under the counsel of a structural engineer, the venue has been closed for the evening and we are cancelling the event. We will be issuing full refunds to all ticket holders and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The good news? The spirit of the show went on even without the party.
Instead of annoyance at missing out on the evening of good food and fun, many supporters asked if they could just donate their ticket prices instead of receiving the refund. (Answer: Logistically, no, the whole event had to be refunded, but people are always welcome to make donations online here.)
The food that was already prepared for the event didn’t go to waste, said spokeswoman Christina Starr. It was either delivered to area homeless shelters or served to FareStart participants as part of the daily meals provided to students.
Though the event was meant as a major fund-raiser, thanks to insurance coverage, the cancellation shouldn’t have any longstanding financial repercussions, Starr said in an email.
“While the event was meant to be a celebration of all of the incredible chefs, restaurants, and individuals who support FareStart throughout the year–and though we missed out on celebrating the community in the way that we had planned–it was the community that really ended up rallying around us and showing their support of our organization and our students, which was just incredible. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful community of supporters.”