Dine for a difference, global event asks community to support local causes

Twestival began as a single event in London more than three years ago, since that time it has expanded into a global movement where people meet up for a good cause. What started out as a global cause to help support water and education initiatives worldwide, has developed into a series of events in different cities held on the same day to support multiple causes.
“Twestival Local” will be held on Thursday, March 24 and here in the Milwaukee area, proceeds from Twestival events will benefit Milwaukee-based Independence First, an organization run by and for the benefit of people living with disabilities.
Ryan Thompson, social lead and digital strategist at The Mark Travel Corporation is leading Milwaukee’s Twestival efforts.
“Independence First is a great organization,” Thompson said. “Carol (Voss) and the organization in general are great assets for the community. They have a great online presence and they are very socially savvy and they are very community focused so they seemed like the perfect match for this. It gives Milwaukeeans a chance to invest in their youth programs and in tomorrow’s future.”
The Milwaukee Ale House has agreed to donate 25 cents of every food sale made during operating hours on Thursday and will also host live music and their traditional $2.50 pint happy hour for the event. Joe Sorge restaurants; AJ Bombers, Swig and Water Buffalo will also participate, Thompson said.
According to Carol Voss, public relations and marketing director for Independence First, the money raised will go directly to benefit the organization’s youth programming efforts.
“It’s definitely an honor to be chosen from the Milwaukee nonprofit community,” Voss said. “The funds will really help our youth services division, we help kids living with disabilities from a very young age all the way up through high school and college. The money will allow us to not only get the word out about what we do for youth in our community, but also help us fund some very necessary programs that help with employment, even access to wheel chair athletics and other programming.”
According to Voss the organization left it open to a very broad based category, but money raised will help support programming at the organization’s Youth Leadership Summit, educational and support programs, Disability Mentoring Day and other programs.
“We’re hoping Twestival helps us get the word out about what we do, but also helps us connect with new donors and support in the Twitter community,” Voss said. “This will help us get even more exposure for our social media efforts and the work we do within the community. We’ve really spent a lot of time trying to work these channels and improve relationships and position ourselves to be on the front line as a resource on issues surrounding disabilities and access, we’re looking at this as a sort of reward for our efforts, and we’re very very thankful.”
The original Twestival in London was designed to give people a chance to get out and mingle, Thompson said.
“The event has expanded into something even greater than a networking event,” he said. “It has since grown into an opportunity for people to not only get out and mingle, but to do something good in their community. Here in Milwaukee people can help support a great organization just by going out and eating at local restaurants.”
According to Thompson more than 170 cities across the world will participate in Twestival on Thursday, March 24. For more information follow MKETwestival on Twitter or use #MkeTwestival when dining out at one of the participating restaurants that day, Thompson said.


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