The Gabby Guy says Variety is the spice of life and proves the police really know how to party.
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“You’re pouring waaaay too much head,” was the first of many comments the peanut gallery lovingly lobbed at WJBR DJ and part-time pilsner pourer Michael Waite, who managed to avoid any direct hits by ducking behind the bar where he acted as Delebrity server for this year’s Variety Celeb Bartender night at Iron Hill Restaurant and Brewery on the Riverfront. “The perfect pour is not as easy as the pros make it look,” Michael said.
After finding the last opening at the bar, we spotted Blaise and Tina Muscara “waiting for Waite” to re-fill their glasses of Belgian ale. When at last they were served, Blaise good naturedly remarked “finally.” A sip elicited, “Mmm, summery and citrusy,” from Tina. Between pours we asked Waite what his specialty cocktail would be and what he would name it. Over the drinkers’ din he yelled, hand cupped to mouth, “anything with alcohol” and dubbed it The Can’t Waite. You don’t have to wait to hear Michael’s liquid gold voice or wit. Just tune into WJBR almost any time of day. It seems Michael never sleeps—except when he’s behind the bar.
It was Variety of Delaware director Meghan Evans’ third year doing the Delebrity Bartender party. She happily told us of how Variety serves children with any kind of disability by working with other charities. She cited Variety’s recent collaboration with Autism Delaware to start a summer day camp for kids with special needs. We were joined by Andrew Pack, executive director for Variety, who pointed out a tricked-out purple trike that was specially outfitted to be steered with one hand. Variety was presenting the tricycle to 10-year-old Christine Payne that night, and her elder sister, Teresa Payne, was super excited. “[Christine] really needs this bike so she can stop veering off to the side.” Teresa is in the drama arts program at the Alfred G. Waters school in Middletown, and with her bubbly personality, it’s easy to see why. The Payne parents thanked the therapists at the John G. Leach school for putting them in touch with “the very nice people at Variety.”
Standing in the wings, we nibbled wings with WPVI’s Lauren Wilson, who wore a bold geometric print sleeveless dress in shades of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry—very Neopolitan—as she waited for her shift at the bar. We chatted at a side table about ABC’s support of Variety in Philadelphia and, more recently, in Wilmington. Lauren intended to donate some personal time in September for Jack and Jill of America, which was planning an event to honor an 18-year-old member Brittany Debman, who lost her life to diabetes just a week after graduating from Padua Academy.
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