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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2010 • Volume 16, Issue 2  

Web Extras
Become a fan of Bradley Hilltopics | Placement rate in 09 | Engineering innovation recognized | Help for Haiti | Women’s basketball will make first postseason appearance in program history | Aerial view of Alumni Center | Knowledge in print | Women’s Studies hosts ’70s activist | Deon’s heave | High-tech engineering lab | SAME Cafe wins 10k from NBC feature | Enriching the campus experience | Speed painting: an Olympic performance | Bradley board game is a winner | Grant funds internships | Old Vonachen’s Junction menu

 

SAME Cafe wins 10k from NBC feature

By MELISSA VOGRIN ’10

When Brad and LIBBY BIRKY, MA ’02 opened their nonprofit, pay-what-you-can restaurant, So All May Eat (SAME) Cafe, in Denver in October 2006, they had their share of skeptics. However, their hard work continues to pay off, and they are gaining more recognition, support, and fans than ever.

Early in 2009, Libby and Brad were approached by NBC about taping a story about SAME Cafe, and in March 2009, it aired on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. View the segment on youtube.com. Later, MSN included SAME Cafe in an online poll of the five most-viewed “Making a Difference” NBC stories from January 2009 to September 2009, allowing Web site browsers to vote for their favorite. On January 11, the Birkys were thrilled to learn that SAME Cafe had been named the Best Hometown Hero winner. Read the results write-up.

Libby said that she and Brad only publicized SAME Cafe’s chance to win the Best Hometown Hero award by posting the contest information on the cafe’s Facebook fan page and in its newsletter. To their surprise, “it took off from there like wildfire. People we didn’t even know were asking their friends to vote every day! It was awesome. We were getting Twitter notices from people from all over the country saying that they were voting.”

They also received overwhelming support from past and present Bradley students, staff, and faculty. When LIZ ADAMS ’90, director of development, and Dr. Peggy Flannigan, Brad’s aunt and the director of the Center for Research and Service and associate professor of nursing, heard about the contest, they spread the news around campus, both by word of mouth and through the alumni newsletter. Libby explained, “We had heard from many alumni after the Bradley Hilltopics story ran, and then from even more after the voting happened. We know we couldn’t have won without the help of the Bradley family!” View the Bradley Hilltopics article.

SAME Cafe works to fulfill the basic need of healthy food, in a respectful and dignified manner, for anyone who enters the cafe, regardless of economic status. The menu changes every day, and there are no set prices. Instead of a cash register, a donation box sits on the counter. If diners can’t afford to pay anything, they are encouraged to exchange an hour of service for their meal. Daily selections for the menu are made using fresh, organic ingredients, and they are funded by donations. Typically, the menu consists of various types of pizza, soup, and salad.

Winning the contest means more than just a growing and glowing reputation for the cafe — the Birkys also received $10,000. They intend to use the money to buy equipment for the cafe, including an industrial cheese grater, and to pay the rent.

“This amount of money will ensure that we can keep doing this for many more days, weeks, and months to come!” Libby said.

In January, Libby and Brad also won an E-Chievement Award on eTown, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show that strives to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world. E-Chievement Awards are listener-nominated and recognize people who have made a difference in the community. To listen to the Birkys’ segment, visit: http://www.etown.org/awards.past.php.

 

Become a fan of Bradley Hilltopics | Placement rate in 09 | Engineering innovation recognized | Help for Haiti | Women’s basketball will make first postseason appearance in program history | Aerial view of Alumni Center | Knowledge in print | Women’s Studies hosts ’70s activist | Deon’s heave | High-tech engineering lab | SAME Cafe wins 10k from NBC feature | Enriching the campus experience | Speed painting: an Olympic performance | Bradley board game is a winner | Grant funds internships | Old Vonachen’s Junction menu