When Links for Life had to reschedule its biggest fundraiser, organizers didn’t wallow in sadness — they made brunch plans. While the gala and golf tournament were moved to November, the nonprofit is encouraging folks to stay in their PJs and enjoy an An unGala Event: Virtual Brunch on Saturday.
When the nonprofit decided in March to reschedule the Sharyn Woods Memorial Golf Tournament and Gala, its biggest fundraiser, organizers still wanted to connect with the community.
"We thought, 'What's the opposite of a gala? A brunch and PJ party," said Jennifer Henry, Links for Life executive director.
Just like its name states, this unGala is an informal affair, encouraging people to pick up brunch (or lunch or dinner) and beverages from local businesses and enjoy them in their pajamas or comfortable clothes.
"It's really to support our local restaurants," Henry said of the event. "Yes, they can give a contribution to Links if they want."
The organization, which is dedicated to providing services to women diagnosed with breast cancer in Kern County who are underinsured or uninsured, is raising awareness and funds, including for the annual Give Big Kern campaign, which culminates May 5. But Henry also said the unGala is a chance to just let your hair down and have a good time.
"It's just a fun event. Let’s hang out and eat, which were doing a lot of these days, and enjoy each other."
A number of participating restaurants will be offering specials on Saturday.
Tina Marie's Downtown Cafe (2000 Chester Ave.) is offering a breakfast brunch box ($45) that feeds four to six people with Belgian waffles with strawberries, pancakes, French toast and an assortment of ham, bacon and sausage, fresh salsa, scrambled eggs, country potatoes, fresh fruit, assorted cookies and choice of juice. Preorders are recommended by calling 631-1188.
Woodstone Pizzeria (5440 California Ave.) is offering a special for a large one-topping pizza, large garden salad and eight wings for $24.99. Call 438-8008 to order.
Yard House (10308 Stockdale Highway) is offering takeout and family meal deals as well as 15 percent off using the code YHTOGO15 (deal valid through April 30). Order at yardhouse.com or call 664-1014.
New Vintage Grill (9901 Hageman Road, Suite 100) is offering its Guac n Roll breakfast burrito and bottle of champagne for $12. Call 829-6814 to order.
Other restaurants and businesses involved include Panini Kabob Grill; Countryside Market; The Pink Lady, Covenant Coffee's mobile unit; kellys konfections; April & Co. Photography; 2x Broadband; and Paradise Balloons.
Leading up to and during the event, there is a photo contest. Participants need to like Links for Life's Facebook and Instagram pages, click to attend the virtual brunch event, tag three friends, then share a photo of their brunch (or meal) and tag your favorite local restaurant. Pajamas or fun clothes are encouraged for the photos and creativity counts. Photos must be submitted by noon Sunday.
The event committee will chose the top five photos and those who took part can vote for the top two.
Prizes will go to the top photos. The one that gets the most support will win a $50 gift card to Sorella Ristorante Italiano. Most creative photo taker will receive a $25 gift card to Yard House. The best PJ photo will win a gift card for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Henry said that taking the time to have fun and connect virtually is a good reminder that we're facing what comes as a united community.
"We are working together as one. We're survivors in Kern County. We will get through this together."