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Stirring a Wave of Change

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

This past September, William Grant & Sons organized Wave of Change - a fundraiser hosted by United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) of Miami to benefit Coral Restoration Foundation™.

Bartenders from all over Florida joined forces at Gramps, one of the hottest bars in Wynwood, to shake up sustainably sourced craft cocktails for over 350 attendees. The event featured raffles, giveaways, and live entertainment by DJ Hottpants, with 100% of the proceeds supporting the work we do at CRF™.

Image credit: 52chefs

Participating bartenders from Gramps, Agave 308, Alter, Beaker & Gray, Better Days, Buya Ramen, General Horseplay, Kaido, and The Sylvester travelled from cities as far as St. Petersburg to generously donate their time for the event. In aligning with the overarching message of Wave of Change, the event was also free of single-use plastics.

CRF™ staff members attended Wave of Change to talk about the work we do and to continue making connections within the community. They also had a great time participating in the festivities throughout the afternoon!

Wave of Change raised a total of $1,480 through raffle ticket sales and cocktail purchases. Not only did this event provide a generous amount of support for CRF™, but it also brought a new group of people together. Wave of Change has paved the way for even more exciting events to come with USBG of Miami and participating bars!

We hope to see you at our next outreach event, so stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage or check out our events calendar!

Keep reading for a brief interview with event organizer Laura Fairweather of William Grant & Sons. Her dedication and creativity made Wave of Change one for the books!


What is your earliest memory of the ocean?

I can honestly say I don’t quite remember my first memory of the ocean, but I definitely remember the first time I took my daughter to the ocean.  She ran fearlessly towards the waves and never looked back.  One of the best moments of both of our lives.

What is your favorite marine creature?  

I can’t pick just one. There are so many interesting things happening below the surface of the water.  The octopus is a really fascinating creature - beautiful and intelligent.  Catching a glimpse of a sea turtle in the middle of the ocean surfacing is pretty amazing too.

Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel?

My family and I love going to Costa Rica.  The ocean life that I’ve experienced in its natural state has mostly been while visiting the country.

Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel?

Unfortunately, the majority of sea life degradation that I’ve encountered has been in Florida, my home state.  The importance of preserving the ocean, especially in Florida, is something that personally affects me, my family, and all my home-grown Florida friends.

What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?

Experiencing the ocean for the first time with my daughter is a memory that I cherish.  Knowing that my daughter will likely not be able to experience that same feeling with her children makes my heart ache.

Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs? 

I care about coral reefs because I care about the ocean.  I care about the planet I live on, and I want to make an investment for the future so that my grandchildren, not just my daughter, will have the opportunity to experience ocean life in real life and not just have to learn about the beauty in the ocean from books and movies of the past.

Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?

I represent William Grant & Sons, and we built our flagship brand, Glenfiddich, at a distillery because of its proximity to a water source.  For those who know anything about spirits, you understand that water is a main component of the product you create.  Protecting your water source, the life within that water, and the life that the water gives is all connected.  Coral reefs protect our coastlines, as well as protect and spawn life for various sea lives.

Why should the average person care about coral reefs?

Protecting coral reefs is quintessential to the survival of humankind.  The planet needs harmony from every living thing.

In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs?

Taking the time and energy to support wonderful organizations like Coral Restoration Foundation™, and providing education and a better understanding into what coral reefs do for our oceans, their ecosystems, and the benefits of keeping them healthy.

What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?

Be more mindful of the long term effects of the items we use every day, and how they affect our oceans, air, and land. 

Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why?

We are fortunate enough to live in an age where we have access to information at the touch of a button/screen.  Hope is not lost when we have immediate access to education and ways to correct our missteps as a species. Everyone is capable of learning, understanding, and helping. There will inevitably be a handful of years when things may seem dire, but fortunately for us, we have the means to make things right again.  It’s the earth’s way of saying "I forgive you." We just have to apologize first.

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