Patrón Tequila is on track to support besieged Gulf Coast residents via a new, national, epicurean-themed fund-raising train tour.
Organized by The Patrón Spirits Company in partnership with the St. Bernard Project, a community-based organization dedicated to helping New Orleans-area residents, the tour features the "Patrón Tequila Epicurean Express," a restored, vintage 1927 train car.
The car will ride the rails from city to city throughout June, stopping in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles and points in between.
At each stop, top local chefs will create Patrón-inspired events at the train to benefit the St. Bernard Project, and the spirits brand will collect donations in exchange for providing a unique opportunity to enjoy cocktails and dine aboard the historic coach.
The train will spend two nights in each city. One evening will feature a cocktail party with specially prepared Patrón tequila cocktails and hors d'oeuvres created by the local chefs, for those making smaller donations. The second evening -- featuring a gourmet, multi-course dinner also prepared by local chefs -- will be reserved for 20 or fewer diners able to make significant contributions.
Raffles and silent auctions will also be held during the events. Patrón Spirits is funding all tour/events costs, enabling the St. Bernard Project to collect 100% of revenue generated.
The tour is an extension of Patrón's five-year, ongoing support of The St. Bernard Project, begun in the wake of the Gulf Coast devastation wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Patrón and the St. Bernard Project also employed the Patrón Tequila Express train for a music-themed "Music in Motion" fund-raising tour in 2008.
The St. Bernard Project's mission of helping Louisiana/Gulf shore residents rebuild their homes and lives is more important than ever, now that "countless fisherman are facing the loss of their livelihoods from the disastrous effects of the recent oil spill," stressed Patrón Tequila brand director Jennifer Long.
St. Bernard Parish is a working-class community adjacent to New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, the area that was hardest-hit by the storms. To date, the project has rebuilt more than 275 homes using volunteer labor, skilled supervisors and donated building supplies.
The St. Bernard Project also recently expanded its services to assist with residents' mental health needs through its Center for Wellness and Mental Health, in partnership with the Psychiatry Department of Louisiana State University's Health Sciences Center. Plans now call for staffing a second clinic in lower St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines Parish, where many residents who work in the fishing and shrimping industry live.
Proceeds from Patrón's train tour will help support the centers. Tickets are being sold through the project's site, stbernardproject.org.