Local restaurants to be part of Fiesta Ball Week at UAB – Shelby County Reporter
By WILLIAM MARLOW / Special to the Reporter
NORTH SHELBY – Six local restaurants will be offering special menus next month as part of Fiesta Ball Week, an annual fundraising event hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The event is being reintroduced after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will run July 17-24.
The festival is organized by the Young Supporters Board of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.
YSB President Rebecca Beers said the event was completely reinvented in the wake of the pandemic and this year’s fundraiser will raise money for the university’s ongoing cancer research as well as supporting local restaurants, which have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
“YSB is delighted to partner with businesses and foundations in our community to host a unique new event that will support our hard-hit local restaurants while also raising money for research grants at the O’Neal Cancer Center,” said she declared.
In previous years, Beers has said the event has taken place as an in-person celebration, but due to the constraints of the pandemic, it has been revamped into a hybrid format with both an in-person restaurant promotion. as well as an online auction.
Instead of attending a rally in person, event attendees will have the option to purchase a meal ticket, which they can redeem anytime between July 17 and July 24.
Participating restaurants include Sol Y Luna, El ZunZún, Little Donkey, La Paz, Craft’s on Church Street and the eight Taco Mama branches in the Birmingham area.
Tickets purchased in advance are required to participate in the restaurant portion of Fiesta Ball Week. Tickets are available for purchase now and sales will close on Wednesday, July 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Proceeds from each ticket sale will benefit both the selected restaurant and the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Beers described fundraising as a crucial avenue for the university’s ongoing research and said the proceeds would specifically fund the Mary Ann Harvard Young Investigator Grants. These grants will help early career scientists at the O’Neal Cancer Center launch their research programs.
“These grants will pay dividends in the future as our young researchers build on the discoveries and ideas that we fund and ultimately change the trajectory of cancer treatment,” Beers said.
This year will mark the 13th annual festival. During that time, Beers said the event raised a total of nearly $ 1 million.
Additionally. Beers said the university will also be hosting an online auction this year, which in the past has directly benefited cancer patients and their families.
Proceeds have funded everything from treatment to travel costs and, more recently, to tablets that patients can use during their chemotherapy.
“The silent auction proceeds generally support our patient and family outreach activities, and funds have been critical in supporting cancer patients and their families,” she said.
Tickets are not required to participate in the Fiesta Ball Week online auction, which will include a range of items such as a Lake Martin vacation weekend and a round of golf for two at Pursell Farms . The auction will open at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday July 17 and close at 5 p.m. on Saturday July 24.
All eight Taco Mama’s stores in Birmingham will participate in the upcoming event. The company said it was interested in participating in the event because of its established relationship with the university and for the chance to have a positive impact on the community. Many of the company’s team members are graduates or current students of the university, according to a company spokesperson.
“We are always looking for partnerships with engaging and energetic organizations and we appreciate the culture and enthusiasm we have experienced from our Blazer friends and teammates,” said a company spokesperson. “If there is an opportunity with UAB that we think we can have a positive impact on, we do our best to be part of it. “
The company will be offering a $ 35 ticket promotion, which includes the restaurant’s Dip Trio appetizer, any main course, and the option of a margarita or fountain drink.
Guests can replace the margarita with a Steel City Pop. For takeout orders, the company asks customers to drink margaritas on the spot and then get takeout food.
They also ask you to bring a printed version of the ticket to the restaurant to redeem.