McKINNEY (January 17, 2020) —  E.J. Wills Gastropub, an award-winning restaurant on McKinney’s west side, is delighted to announce that its Guest Bartender Series has raised more than $25,000 and benefited over 50 local charitable organizations since its inception in late 2018.

Each Wednesday night, the restaurant schedules different Guest Bartenders and invites each to select a charity, socialize amongst patrons to raise awareness about the charity’s purpose, and help serve food and drink. All donations in the tip jar and a share of bar tips from food and drink tabs go towards the charity, and some Guest Bartenders have raised nearly $1,000 in a single night.

Guest Bartenders have included public figures, such as McKinney Mayor George Fuller for the Love Life Foundation; McKinney Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Hermes for the Community Lifeline Center; The Art of Living Beautifully Magazine Publisher Lauren Palmer for Mane Gait; and the 2018 Miss Texas United States Winner Andrea Fox for Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support. Other guests have included local business owners, nonprofit board members and philanthropic citizens, such as Angi Burns, Executive/Academy Director of Ovation Academy of the Performing Arts, Ruth Thompson, Founder and President of Hugs Café, Lance Olinski, Founder/CEO of Streetside Showers, and Edie Heinicke and Ana Gonzales, the Executive Director and Engagement Coordinator for Volunteer McKinney. Additional local organizations that have benefited include Bethlehem Place, Food Pantry in Prosper, the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County, the McKinney Education Fund, and the McKinney chapters of the Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, and Knights of Columbus.

“It is an absolute thrill to see this program grow and to provide a platform where Guest Bartenders can raise hundreds of dollars in just about a 2 hour time span for their causes.  Our patrons are so generous and our Guest Bartenders have a really fun time. We pair the guest bartending gigs each Wednesday with live music, and it’s consistently a spirited atmosphere that brings different sectors of our community together,” said owner Joy Booth. Her husband Greg added “we are honored to help these local organizations raise money to sustain their efforts and we look forward to it each week.”

E.J. Wills Gastropub is located at 1910 N. Stonebridge Drive (at 380) in McKinney, TX. The Guest Bartender Series is scheduled each Wednesday from 7-9:30 pm.  Those interested should contact the restaurant at ejwillsgastropub@gmail.com. Please follow the restaurant’s Facebook page for upcoming guest appearances and the organization each plans to benefit.