Rooster’s bourbon tastings to benefit local non-profits

By on September 26, 2017

In May 2015, Sue and John Woolard opened the doors of their newly rebranded restaurant, Rooster’s Southern Kitchen.

As business owners on the Outer Banks for over 30 years, they wanted to find a way to give back to the community through their large, centrally located restaurant.

In the fall of 2015, the first bourbon tastings were launched. Local non-profit organizations and foundations were chosen as beneficiaries of each of the tastings, held monthly in the off-season. They chose organizations that directly serve or support children, education, or those in crisis or need in our community.


For a $25 donation, guests enjoyed bourbon samplings and tapas-style appetizers. One hundred percent of the tasting proceeds were donated to the local beneficiaries. Additionally, Rooster’s donated ten percent of lunch and dinner sales to the chosen organization, allowing, even more guests another way to join in on the giving.

Over the last two years, Rooster’s Southern Kitchen’s “Spirits for Giving” bourbon tastings have raised more than $25,000 for the Outer Banks community.

“What I enjoy about the bourbon tastings is that it’s great to see the local community coming out to support each other,” says Gwyn Shoemaker, front of house manager of Rooster’s, who has helped to facilitate every bourbon tasting since its induction.

Rooster’s Southern Kitchen supports the following local non-profits:

  • OBX Beach Food Pantry: “Provides direct nutritional assistance to Dare County residents in a temporary crisis or emergency situation….(serving) needy persons in our community to help fight hunger.”

  • Food for Thought: “Provides nutritious and child-pleasing nonperishable breakfast, lunches, and snacks for elementary children who meet specific family criteria in Dare County on weekends and holidays during the year.”

  • Dare Education Foundation: “Making great ideas in education come to life by funding initiatives that enhance the experiences of students and teachers in Dare County.”
  • Outer Banks Relief Foundation: “Raises local funds to be used to assist people living or working in our OBX community who are burdened with financial difficulties because of a debilitating disease or illness, or personal tragedy with themselves or a family member.”
  • Interfaith Community Outreach: “Provides assistance to individuals facing a temporary emergency crisis.”
  • North Carolina Missions of Mercy: “Offers portable free dental treatment to those in financial need who have few or no other options for care.” Supported the clinic which was held in Kill Devil Hills.
  • Community Care Clinic of Dare: “Responds to the needs of the uninsured in the OBX community.”
  • Outer Banks Hotline: “Promote a safe and compassionate community. We are a private, non-profit human services organization that provides crisis intervention, safe house, information and referrals, advocacy and prevention education services to residents of and visitors to the Northern Outer Banks.”
  • A Reason to Smile (ARTS): “To empower communities without access to dental professionals to achieve and maintain a higher level of oral health by providing hygiene education, direct treatment, and dental supplies.”

Distributing company hosts such as Tim Zizack of Castle Brands, Dominic Mikel and Tony Ursone of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Dean Kittleson and Jason Bradley of Republic National Distributing Company, and Craft Brand Ambassador Amanda Charles help choreograph each of our Bourbon Tastings and deliver fun facts about bourbon in an engaging way.


“The tastings at Rooster’s Southern Kitchen combine all the elements that are needed for a memorable experience. There are great people, food, and whiskey all coming together to raise money for a good cause. This year I plan on bringing some unique products, and my knowledge of bourbon, to the tastings that people will not be able to find anywhere else!” said Jason Bradley of Republic National Distributing.

On Friday, October 13, 2017, Rooster’s will host the first “Spirits for Giving” Bourbon tasting this fall benefiting Outer Banks Hotline, co-sponsored with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits and ambassador Anthony Ursone.

Reserve your space with a $25 donation by stopping by Rooster’s. Spaces are limited.


Can’t make October’s tasting event? Check out the lineup so you can be sure to reserve your spot for a future event:

“Spirits For Giving” benefiting Interfaith Community Outreach, co-sponsored by Republic National Distributing and ambassador Dean Kittleson

“Spirits For Giving” benefiting Outer Banks Relief Foundation, co-sponsored by Republic National Distributing and ambassador Jason Bradley

“Spirits For Giving” benefiting Dare Education Foundation, co-sponsored by Southern Glazer’s Wine + Spirits and ambassador Dominic Mikel

“Spirits For Giving” benefiting Food for Thought, co-sponsored by Republic National Distributing and ambassador Jason Bradley

“Spirits For Giving” benefiting Beach Food Pantry, co-sponsored by Castle Brands and ambassador Tim Zizack

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018
“Spirits For Giving” Tequila Tasting benefiting A Reason to Smile, co-sponsored by Southern Glazer’s Wine + Spirits and ambassador Dominic Mikel

Recent posts in this category