Mystery Beer Party for Diabetes

Posted on June 4, 2011


Happy weekend everyone!  I am so excited to share a wonderful diabetes fundraiser my friends established 5 years ago.  It is a great way to have fun and to raise money. 

I interviewed the hosts of the party and would like to share their insights.  Hoping folks in other cities will have similar parties for diabetes. 

To the hosts:  Thanks so much for supporting diabetes, and I am sure Poppa Joe is so proud of you!   This blog is dedicated to you and Poppa Joe. 

Background on the Mystery Beer Party:  We (the hosts) started Team Poppa Joe six years ago and the Mystery Beer Party five years ago. Our Dad died five years ago, so raising money for Diabetes has been a great way to do something productive with our grief while also honoring his memory by working to find a cure for diabetes. 

1.   When did you start the mystery beer party party for diabetes.  Explain the official name and why you chose that name?

We started Team Poppa Joe six years ago.  Our Dad, Joe Osborne, had lived with Diabetes for many years.  A friend of mine had recently taken on the job as Executive Director of the Louisville ADA Chapter and knew that my Dad had Diabetes and approached us about doing a team.  We named it Team Poppa Joe because Poppa Joe was our Dad’s nickname.  We have been doing the Mystery Beer Party for five years 

2.  Why did you start the mystery beer party?

 In our first year of participating in the Diabetes Walk, we doubled our $1,000 goal.  Since we had such fundraising success we decided to step it up a notch and try to raise $5,000.  We were trying to come up with ideas that would help us raise money, outside of the typical ask for donations.  We had originally thought about having a wine tasting, but most of our friends are beer drinkers.  Some of us had been to a non-fundraising mystery beer party in the past so we came up with a way to turn it into a money-maker.  Having a beer party might be a strange way to raise money for diabetes, but our focus is on  raising the money to find a cure and we wouldn’t be very successful in those efforts with a sugar-free candy party.

 3.  How has the party progressed over the years?

It’s funny to think back about the first party and then what it has turned into.  The first year was small, but oh so much fun!  For raffles we used just bottles of booze that were either donated or that we had in our liquor cabinets!  Now we have huge raffle items, a large tent, and nearly 100 people each year. 

4.  Expectations for the party?

 For everyone to have fun, raise money for a cure for diabetes, and to fondly remember our Dad!  For the past four years, we have raised more than $1000 at the party – more than our original fundraising goal. 

5..  What does diabetes mean to you and your family?

Our Grandmother had diabetes, our Dad had diabetes and several members of our brother-in-law’s family have diabetes.  It’s always been a part of our lives, so we realize some of the possible devastating effects that diabetes can have on your body and the changes you have to make to your lifestyle.

6.  What was it like living with a diabetic father?

 I wouldn’t say it was strange or a problem. It’s just something that was a part of our lives.  

7.  What is your personal experience with diabetes?  Thoughts about diabetes?

 Thankfully, no one else in our family has been diagnosed with diabetes, but since we have a history of it in our family the concern is always there.  Our Dad died of liver cancer.  After his death we thought of focusing our efforts on cancer research; however, because of the family history of diabetes we decided to continue our work with the American Diabetes Association.  Plus, our Dad walked with us six years ago when we first started our team, and every year he continues to walk with us in our hearts. 

8.  How much money have you raised for diabetes?

  In the six years since we started  Team Poppa we have raised more than $40,000 towards finding a cure for diabetes. 

9.  What is your vision for diabetes/diabetics?

            A cure! 

10.  Tips on starting a similar party?

 It’s an easy party to do because it can be relatively inexpensive.  All your guests bring the beer and then they have to buy it back!  We charge $1 for a Mystery Beer and if you are too chicken to branch out you’re paying $2 for a domestic J.  We also do door prizes and raffle items. We shop throughout the year for great deals and we also get donated items. We charge $1 for raffle tickets.  Then we have plenty of snacks to sustain everyone throughout the night.  If you have fun friends and family, and who doesn’t, then it will be a fun, successful night!