The Mountain Times: Posted Wednesday, December 3, 2014 12:23 pm | Updated: 12:34 pm, Wed Dec 3, 2014.
The Local P.A.S.S. program to initiate January 2015
photos by Erika Giovanetti
The Local, a newly revamped restaurant, bar and music venue in downtown Boone, set out with a goal to enrich the community by sourcing its food and brews locally.
Another goal the owners set out to promote community involvement was to introduce a monthly fundraiser benefiting a local nonprofit. This coming January, The Local makes that vision a reality.
Every month, The Local will benefit a different organization within the Boone community with The Local PASS, a social fundraiser featuring raffles, free appetizers and a free pint of beer for participants. PASS is an acronym for “provide, advocate, sustain and synergy.”
The “provide” aspect aims to provide a “fundraising opportunity through partnering with local philanthropic organizations,” according to a news release.
According to The Local, PASS will advocate for those in need, while the restaurant will sustain the program by making it self-sufficient through utilizing local goods and services.
“They try to source locally, so this idea takes off from this in a way that benefits the local community,” program organizer Michal Diettrich-Chastain said.
Finally, the program promotes the aforementioned synergy by combining various services to reach a higher potential, the news release reads.
The end goal is to bring the community together with a social event, while monetarily benefiting a local charity.
“Our hope is that with every event and with every fundraiser that we’re able to donate a significant amount of money to an organization,” Diettrich-Chastain said. “They might not be able to raise sufficient funds on their own.”
So far, prospects for local beneficiaries include Western Youth Network, the Watauga County Children’s Council and OASIS. According to Diettrich-Chastain, these are “organizations that are ultimately contributing to the welfare or having a direct impact on folks in need in the community.”
Diettrich-Chastain was a bartender for the restaurant, before moving to Asheville to pursue social work, and is now entwined with community mental health. His background in therapy has helped him to establish connections with the Boone community.
“I’ve worked with some of the organizations in the past through internships or clients,” Diettrich-Chastain said. “I worked with the New River Health Center, and we had a lot of contact directly or indirectly with these organizations.”
As a result of this connection, Diettrich-Chastain said that he’s familiar with what’s out there in the Boone community and which entities to approach.
“It’s coming together to be a great service in the community and a great way to help The Local make a footprint as more than a restaurant,” Diettrich-Chastain said.
Diettrich-Chastain said that another unique aspect about this campaign is that participants have several options for buying tickets with the silver, gold or platinum PASS.
A silver PASS offers admission for one event, including a free pint and appetizers, as well as one raffle ticket, for the cost of $10.
The gold PASS costs $50 and grants the cardholder admission to six months of events and, in addition to the perks of the silver level, allows cardholders a 5-percent discount on all food items. It expires after 12 months.
Finally, the platinum PASS offers admission for 12 months of events, a 10-percent discount on all food items and expires after 18 months. The platinum PASS costs $100.
A significant portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the local nonprofits, according to Diettrich-Chastain. The monthly charity will receive 10 percent of the food sales of the night from 5 to 10 p.m., 50 percent of the total ticket sales for the night and 100 percent of the proceeds from raffle tickets.
The raffle prizes will be donated by local businesses. “We’ll get donations from local area entities, whether it’s clothing, food vouchers or spa treatments,” Diettrich-Chastain said.
Those attending the PASS events will be provided with raffle tickets, but are also welcome to buy more to increase their chances of winning the raffle.
Right now, The Local is in the process of lining up charities to benefit for 2015.
“We’ve been talking about putting it together for the past few months, and I’m excited to have some organizations already show interest,” Diettrich-Chastain said.
Local nonprofit organizations looking to be featured at The Local’s PASS events may contact Diettrich-Chastain at or (828) 260-6624. The Local is located at 179 Howard St. in downtown Boone. For more information, visit www.thelocalboone.com, or call (828) 266-2179.