On December 17th, Tim Green acted as the local guest bartender at The Krebs restaurant, in Skaneateles for a mission charity event.
The retired NFL player, attorney, television personality, and best-selling author Tim Green served drinks alongside First Niagara Bank Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking Alison Miller for the event.
A portion of the tips at the bar benefited Griffin’s Guardians, a nonprofit organization that brings awareness to Pediatric Cancer, assists in funding research for Pediatric Cancer, and provides affected families with financial assistance. The other portion went towards families in the community to help them during the holiday season.
Griffin’s Guardians was founded by Adam and Erin Engle in December 2014. Their son, Griffin, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme the day after his 6th birthday. He went through a host of treatments including major brain surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, 33 radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and physical therapy.
Tragically, one month after his 7th birthday he passed away. The entire time Griffin was facing treatment and uncertainty, he remained grateful for his family and every second he had to be alive. His story won the hearts of the community and Tim Green.
When it came time for Tim Green to name a character in his latest book “Kid Owner,” the decision was easy. While hosting a Facebook contest to name a character, Skaneateles resident Matt Major nominated Griffin Engle’s name and told Green all about the young boy who, at that time, was still in the middle of his battled with pediatric cancer.
Green’s reaction was immediate, “I said, ‘You got it.’ I put Griffin in front, and he blew up my Facebook page. All of the supporters voted for him.”
Though the book wasn’t yet published, Tim Green pulled together the artwork and manuscript to make a book to send to Griffin and his family personally before he lost his battle to cancer.
When asked why he felt so compelled to pull the book together for Griffin, Green answered, “So his mom could read it to him. He was able to see it and hear the story with his name in it.”
Going through their sons cancer journey opened the Engle’s eyes to how under funded pediatric cancer research is. Instead of letting their tragedy consume them, they started their nonprofit, partnering with other organizations with a similar mission like St. Baldrick’s Foundation to partially fund a research grant of their choice. They also began providing financial assistance for basic living expenses that families paying for cancer treatments may no longer be able to afford.
The charity event took place in the bar of The Krebs, a historic restaurant founded in 1899 by Fred and Cora Krebs. The restaurant has been a popular landmark in Skaneateles for over 100 years and is known for it’s rich history serving past presidents, dignitaries, and celebrities.
The Krebs owner Kim Weitsman shared her feelings as such, “The mission surrounding Griffin’s Guardians is heartwarming and a wonderful cause that does so much for pediatric cancer research and families affected by this terrible disease. To lose a child to cancer is unfathomable, but what the family has done to turn a tragedy into a triumph for cancer research and support for families in central New York is inspiring.”
The charity event raised more than $4,000 for Griffin’s Guardians.
The first guest bartender charity event at The Krebs took place in November, and the restaurant wants to continue to host one event each month as part of its mission to give proceeds back to local organizations in the community. The Krebs is in the process of setting up events for January, February, and March.
Weitsman enjoys the events because they bring people together for a good cause while they participate in something they already enjoy doing: drinking with friends.
“It’s a different way for them to fundraise,” she explained.
Erin Engle agreed, calling the event “a win-win … a no-brainer.”
When the Weitsmans first asked Green to appear as a guest bartender for charity, he immediately thought of Griffin’s Guardians and got in touch with the Engles to see what they thought. Everyone, of course, thought it was a tremendous idea.
While nether Miller nor Green had any prior experience bartending, the staff at The Krebs helped them pull it all together to make the event a hit.
Reflecting on his first night as a bartender, Green said, “Everything I do, I try to do it with enthusiasm and a smile. It’s all a lot of good people trying to help.”
Along with tips at the bar, many people contributed checks to give towards the organization that night.
“They came out to support the charity, support The Krebs, support Griffin’s Guardians and support me,” Miller said. “You can’t ask for anything more.”