About Us

The mission of Cocktails for a Cause ® is pretty simple:

Cocktails for a Cause ® connects women of all ages and income levels to local charities at inspiring events. We introduce had-to-hand giving to our guests – their in-kind gifts are distributed immediately to those in need. Our innovative approach to philanthropy educates and energizes women about their impact on local needs. We believe in the power of women.

Most charitable organizations need monetary contributions so cash contributions are always encouraged. But sometimes writing a check is not enough to inspire someone to give. When you actually give a product – diapers, coats, etc. – the giver is making a connection to the persons in need. To help make a connection to the charity, Cocktails for a Cause requires the charity to attend the event and give a short presentation about the organization.

Cocktails for a Cause is all about fun and friendship. It’s about women creating a powerful network that can make amazing things happen – for them as well as women and children in need. Cocktails for a Cause Inc. is a non-profit Colorado corporation which is qualified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Contributions from individuals, entities and other non-profits are tax deductible under the Federal tax rules. Our taxpayer identification number is 27-1879633. We are not affiliated with any of the charities that are beneficiaries of our events.

Cocktails for a Cause logo - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a Cause

Cocktails for a Cause Logo Story
The story behind the Cocktails for a Cause ® logo design is made up of the many hands of those who champion the cause as well as those who benefit from it. The challenge was to create a strong logo that would icon the social perspective, in this case, a martini glass with the handprints representing everyone involved. The logo is an artistic expression that mirrors all the creative and philanthropic charitable efforts of the women behind Cocktails for a Cause. “Cocktails for a Cause” and the martini glass design are federally protected and registered marks owned by Cocktails for a Cause Inc. Logo created by Cesar Maldonado.

The Women Behind Cocktails for a Cause™

Rene Harding - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a CauseMEET RENÉ – real estate broker, fabulous hostess and woman with a cause – Cocktails for a Cause™ to be specific. Cocktails for a Cause™ was sparked when René’s talent for throwing a great party met an overwhelming desire to provide diapers for babies of low-income mothers. “I read an article about the health consequences for babies wearing dirty diapers because their mothers could not afford to purchase enough to keep their babies clean,” said René. “And I was inspired to do something about it.”

So René did what she does best – she invited her friends over for a cocktail party, and asked them to bring diapers and wipes. They did – 4,450 diapers plus 2,500 wipes! The “product” of this party benefited 116 babies through the Denver Health Foundation and just as important – demonstrated the amazing power of women working together.

Lorrie Webb Grillo

LORRIE WEBB GRILLO joins the board of Cocktails for a Cause™ Colorado with the purpose of bringing more attention – and – donations to the amazing work that René has started. Currently and for the past eight years, Lorrie has served as the vice president of marketing for Perry & Co. Realtors, but her background includes corporate communications for a cable television startup, director of public relations for the Denver Art Museum as well as co-owner of her own public relations and advertising firm.

“How marketers reach their audiences has changed over the years, but the basics remain the same – making sure your message gets across in a way that touches people and creates change – whether it’s buying a product or service or, as Margaret Mead said: changing the world.” Lorrie also appreciates how the Cocktails for a Cause™ events bring local charities and donors together in an informal and fun way. Her goal is to build awareness, and she hopes that if you’re reading this, you’ll be compelled to join us at our next event. She looks forward to meeting you! In addition to her work with René at Perry & Co. Realtors and Cocktails for a Cause™ Colorado, Lorrie is a certified practitioner of Essential Feng Shui™ and the president of Thriving Spaces Feng Shui in Denver, Colorado. A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Rachel Kranz - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a Cause

RACHEL KRANZ was introduced to Cocktails for a Cause™ by fellow board member and friend Staci Batterson in February 2012. She instantly fell in love with the comradery of all of the women in the room, of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, coming together to help those in need, all while sharing a glass of wine.

Rachel serves as the Silent Auction chairperson for Cocktails for a Cause™ and joined the board in April 2013. The Silent Auction became a staple at the cocktail parties in October 2012. Baskets of items ranging from Colorado sports memorabilia, bottles of wine, fitness memberships, and shopping sprees, just to name a few, make great gifts and have added some friendly bidding competition to the cocktail parties. All of the proceeds from the Silent Auction go directly to Cocktails for a Cause™ in order to continue funding the future cocktail parties.

Rachel is an associate attorney at Montgomery Little & Soran, PC, focusing on family law matters. She also volunteers her time for Lawline 9 at 9NEWS.

Jacalyn Gallegos - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a Cause

JACALYN GALLEGOS was introduced to Cocktails for a Cause in February 2012 at an event to benefit MaxFund. After seeing the overwhelming support of women in the room, she signed up to volunteer with Cocktails the very next day. She says that “to be able to actually see the immediate impact on an organization that a group of women can make is both humbling and awe-inspiring and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of and to help grow.”

Jacalyn serves as the corporate ambassador and makes sure our sponsors are taken care of leading up to, during, and after the event. As Cocktails for a Cause has continued to grow, this has become an important part of making sure Cocktails continues to run and serve as many people as we can reach with each event while helping to stimulate the economy around us by supporting our sponsors both at the event and in our social media.

In her spare time, she serves on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity Colorado. She also sings the National Anthem for Colorado sports teams and is a lead singer in a local rock band. She is a mortgage loan originator for Hallmark Home Mortgage.

Paulette Fara - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a Cause

PAULETTE FARA has been providing fitness instruction in metro Denver for more than 8+ years, with 15+ years active involvement in continued core development with emphasis on using breath for stress reduction and mind/body/soul centering as a Stress Management Health Coach. She has a passion for inspiring others to make healthy lifestyle changes and incorporates Pilates, Yoga, Essentrics® and T’ai Chi to create a new level of appreciation for the body that provides a wonderful workout for mind, body and soul. Her own challenges with Celiac Disease have encouraged her to research food as a therapy for mind/body balance and chronic inflammation for the past 9 years. Her background in a high-stress human resources career prompted her to create a stress management “toolbox” to help all areas of corporate with their stress management needs.

Paulette joined Cocktails for a Cause in October 2011. She assisted the Silent Auction by soliciting auction items and donating her own private Pilates sessions. She saw a need for small businesses, like hers, to get their name into the community, while giving back to some great causes. Since then, Paulette has been able to triple the amount of donations Cocktails for a Cause receives for each event and continues to grow the Silent Auction to be one of the main sources of funding so Cocktails can continue to throw their events. 100% of the funds raised with the Silent Auction goes back to Cocktails for a Cause to help host the next event. Paulette takes pride in connecting with local, small businesses for silent auction items as it helps build their business while giving back to the community. Paulette was asked to be the Director of Cocktails for a Cause Silent Auction and continues to grow her team. Please reach out to her if you would like to assist in connecting with local companies and help bring amazing silent auction items to our events.

Amanda Vagnino Bartczak - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a Cause

AMANDA VAGNINO BARTCZAK is a proud Denver native that is honored to be a part of Cocktails for a Cause. With a background working in public relations and social media in the food industry, she is excited to lend a hand in Cocktails’ continued growth. “I am fascinated by how much social media has become a part of our daily lives. I am thrilled to help import the message of hand-to-hand giving that Cocktails has created. We can reach a lot of people with our accessibility to diverse, caring women and in turn help more charities.” Amanda is a self-proclaimed wellness nut and yoga enthusiast. She enjoys spending time with her two lively children, supporting local arts and music, trying new recipes and restaurants, exploring Colorado and being a part Denver’s vibrant growth. She considers Cocktails for a Cause a truly unique organization and is delighted to play a roll in Cocktails.

Callie Sievers

CALLIE SIEVERS serves as President of The Olive Club, the financial heartbeat of Cocktails for a Cause. She attended her first Cocktails for a Cause event in October 2014 and has been to every event since. She took on the role as President in March of 2016. Callie’s passion for supporting other like-minded women and love for Cocktails for a Cause is what fuels her continuous involvement and support.

Callie is a financial planner with Thrivent Financial, a not-for-profit organization, specializing in helping individuals and couples, especially those facing a transition in their life such as divorce or entering retirement, manage their money with confidence and live a more generous life. Callie previously worked in tax accounting and still maintains her CPA designation. She also holds the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designation giving her deeper knowledge to be able to help individuals through and following their divorce.

Originally from Rapid City, SD, Callie moved to Colorado four years ago.  She currently lives downtown Denver and in her free time she enjoys traveling, dining out with friends, and FaceTiming with her sister and nieces.

Lynn Hanson - Rene Harding, Cocktails for a Cause

LYNN HANSON is a trademark and franchise attorney who was introduced to the “Cocktails for a Cause” concept in 2011 when she volunteered to help non-profits through the Colorado Bar Association. Lynne answered a request for a lawyer to assist with trademark and corporate law matters and she soon met Rene and attended her first event. She was quickly taken with the idea of hand-to-hand giving and committed to working with this fine group of women who make an immediate difference in the lives of those who benefit from local charities that benefit from “Cocktails for a Cause” events. Lynne joined the Board of Cocktails for a Cause, Inc. in 2012 and has enjoyed serving as legal advisor to the Board ever since.

Lynne is a partner at Moye White, LLP in Denver, Colorado, where she specializes in practicing franchise, trademark, and corporate law. She is co-chair of the Business Section and chair of the Franchise Group at Moye White, LLP.

Cocktails for a Cause Inc. is a non-profit corporation and it is a charitable organization authorized to receive tax-deductible contributions under Section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions from individuals, corporations and other non-profits are gratefully accepted. To obtain the EIN for this organization, contact René Harding at reneharding2@gmail.com or (303) 885-0497.

 

Have a question or would like to get involved?
Contact Rene Harding, Founder & President of Cocktails for a Cause
(303) 885-0497
Reneharding2@gmail.com

 

 

Cocktails for a Cause
Rene Harding, Founder & President