Cabo Wabo: Clear Winner

For the dozen or so members of the Cabo Wabo board of directors, once the bi-annual party starts, the work is done.

At Saturday’s Summer Fling at Bowman Field, about a thousand folks showed up for the party — to drink beer and wine and listen to Thumper and the Plaid Rabbits. Cabo Wabo’s board selects a charitable organization to do the heavy lifting of hosting the event, then lets it keep 100 percent of the proceeds.

I’ve been to a lot of charity events, but this one has simplicity as its core and the number one goal of actually making sure its charity makes money — while everyone has a good time.  This time, Maryhurst, which serves children with severe emotional difficulties, provided 40 volunteers to serve beer, collect admission and park cars. In the end, the effort will net the group as much as $20,000, according to treasurer Jeff McLennan. Nearly a thousand people showed up, he said, and 300 of them also brought stuffed bears for Ardi’s Bears, another worthwhile charity.

Cabo Wabo (Charity and Benefit Organization, We’re All Better Off) was started as a party in founder Alan Lewis’ basement in 1993. Since then, 24 events have raised nearly $400,000 for various groups, and a lot of folks have had a good time at Bowman Field.