Volunteer Chronicles: Peaky Blinders Party Recap

pediatric cancer charity indianapolis
Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

When Luke Foli, area manager for Proximo Spirits, decided to throw an industry night party, he didn’t need to look much further than Netflix for inspiration. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Foli and friends held a party and casino night at the Vogue Theater on March 19th, all themed around the online series Peaky Blinders. The show, which details the world of organized crime in 1920s England, has found a dedicated audience.

“The show has a cult following in the liquor industry,” he said. “I thought it would be a great idea to have an industry night, because so many of my friends work these bars and restaurants on nights and weekends, so very seldom do they have a chance to go out and have fun themselves. I figured if we’re going to have this party, let’s cater it to their interests.”

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Phierce Photo | Keith Griner
Melissa & John Stevens

Partners for the Party

Thanks to Foli’s numerous personal and professional connections, he was able to partner up with some of Indianapolis’ finest, with Mike Cunningham’s Mesh providing delicious food, Jessica Taylor of Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits mixing up cocktails, and Emmett King, his boss at Proximo Spirits, helping to ensure that the Bushmills kept flowing throughout the entire event. But when it came time to decide on a charitable organization to partner with, he didn’t hesitate in choosing the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment.

peaky blinders costume vogue party indianapolis
Phierce Photo | Keith Griner
Vogue General Manager Marcus Johnson & Luke Foli

Though he has known David Symmes through his business Crown Liquors, it was a speaking engagement of David’s that made Luke realize what a special and important cause the Endowment was.

“This was before I knew him, and I was so moved by what he said. He lost a daughter to cancer, which is the worst thing ever for any parent,” he said. “In fact, I’ve lost numerous friends to that awful disease.”

Personal Significance Grows

In an extremely unfortunate turn of events, Foli suffered through the death of his very best friend just days before the party was scheduled. And though it was a difficult and trying time, he said he was able to draw strength from both the spirit of the endowment and the memory of his dear companion.

“My buddy that passed was the toughest man I’ve ever seen or heard of,” he said. “He was always about moving ahead in life, no matter what. I knew that I needed to do it, get through it, make it the best event possible, and to raise as much money as possible.”

And raise money they certainly did. With live music from the Kyle Bledsoe Trio pumping through the speakers, guests had a chance to boogie while playing casino games and participating in a silent auction. Thanks to the generous nature of those in attendance, the event generated over $4,000.

peaky blinders costume party indianapolis vogue
Phierce Photo | Keith Griner
Emily McGrew

Of course no one does anything alone, and Foli would like to thank Steve Ross, owner of the Vogue, for opening his doors on an off night, as well as Jason King and Marcus Johnson, both leaders at the venue who were of immense help throughout the process. It’s so true that without community support many of our Endowment’s successes would be far more limited. We are so grateful for every person who shares our story, supports our cause, and yes, parties in memory of Caroline and others who have been lost to cancer. If you’re interested in setting up a charity event to help benefit the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment, contact us today to learn more.

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