The room in the back of the Uptown Theater featuring the silent-auction items - which ranged from original artwork to an elaborate barbecue grill - was elbow-to-elbow last night as more than 1,200 people gathered to raise funds for the staff of JJ's Restaurant. The Plaza fixture was destroyed after a gas line blew up February 19.
"The auction was a phenomenal success," says co-organizer Jim Ligon, who was a popular bartender at JJ's until the February 19 explosion. A portion of the fundraising profits will be donated to the recently established Megan Cramer Foundation for the Arts, in honor of the JJ's server killed in the blast.
Ligon adds that the night's attendance was actually higher than ticket sales indicate because numerous volunteers, family members of JJ's staffers, and a few members of the press were admitted free. (Fat City paid for its ticket.)
The musical acts included vocalist Megan Birdsall, the Latenight callers, Victor & Penny, Allied Saints and Loaded Goat.