Still Buzzing about the Sustainable Buzz

by Alison Lueders, Great Green Editing

This year’s Sustainable Buzz was a great success. The “Farm-to- Table” theme clearly resonated with many people. Here are some numbers to munch on. There were:

* over 700 attendees, more than double last year’s crowd
* about 43 local vendors of food, wine, beer, coffee, tea, juice, desserts, pizza and more
* over 60 volunteers who helped sign people in, manage the silent auction, and clean up afterwards

The Sustainable Buzz had over 700 attendees this year.
The Sustainable Buzz had over 700 attendees this year.

While the numbers are impressive, they can’t quite convey the fun feel and positive energy of this event. So here are quotes from a variety of attendees who can tell you in their own words:

David Reed, Founder of The Sustany® Foundation

“The Buzz has come a long way since the first one six years ago, which was basically 40 people in a wine shop. This year we had over 700 guests and, once again, it seems that everyone had a good time. The Buzz is first and foremost an awareness raiser, and given the attendance, I believe it was successful.

It is also our most important fund-raising mechanism, and thanks to great sponsor support, The Sustany® Foundation is well positioned to continue its programs in 2014. We’d like the Buzz to be a signature event for the Tampa Bay area and one that is representative of the wonderful people, climate and natural environment that we enjoy here.”

Christine Burdick, President of the Tampa Downtown Partnership

“As an organization that prides itself on its sustainability initiatives, Tampa Downtown Partnership was proud to be an event sponsor for The Sustany® Foundation’s Sustainable Buzz. We were pleased that the event showcased several of our downtown businesses and that the event was held in one of our district’s gems, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts.”

Susan Dei DuMelle, Attendee

Susan attended and purchased an item from the silent auction. She says, “We were able to get a 3 night, 4 day stay at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach, donated by CORE Events and Catering – a value of $660 for $300! We had a wonderful time, got some cute photos, and enjoyed good wine and good food. We also met some very interesting people and helped support a worthwhile cause. We can’t wait for next year!”

Marilyn Westropp of Alessi Bakery

“Alessi Bakery has been in Tampa Bay for 101 years, a cornerstone of the community. People can’t wait to taste our desserts, and over time new generations come and tell us stories about how their grandparents used to go to our bakery too. We are proof that businesses CAN keep growing through the years, and that should be inspiring to young people. We will definitely do this event next year. It was a spectacular evening and we learned so much!”

Eric Stewart of Suncoast Co-op

“The Buzz was a great way to meet all the “movers and shakers” in Tampa Bay’s local food scene. To see people from so many farms and restaurants together – it really shows the power of our community. We are all interested in this local food movement, and we all want to support each other.”

Jimmy Hanna, Volunteer

“The Sustainable Buzz was a night that our volunteers will never forget. Whether it was helping a vendor with a long line or showing guests around, our members had an amazing time. UT’s Beta Alpha Psi will definitely be volunteering again!”

So “Thank You” to everyone who came out and helped create a magical evening. And if you missed it, we’ll look for you next year!