A New Orleans non-profit organization Son of a Saint and the world’s #1 tequila maker, Jose Cuervo, are partnering for a second-straight year of fundraising at local bars and restaurants.
Son of a Saint's founder and director, Bivian "Sonny" Lee, III was three-years-old when he tragically lost his father and former New Orleans Saints player Bivian Lee Jr. His mother wisely recognized Sonny was missing his father's influence and entered him into counseling and therapy. Even the Saints' former owner, Tom Benson, hired Sonny, mentored and trained him before he founded Son of a Saint. Through his journey, Lee turned his tragedy into a nonprofit program organization that has helped 200 young men whose fathers are incarcerated or missing from the young men's lives.
Son of a Saint converted a 103-year-old ice house and moved its operations to the 16,000-square-foot building in mid-city New Orleans. "It's going to have a ton of space for activities for our boys. We are about at 200 kids right now and are excited we've had a lot of growth since we last talked," Lee said.
Jose Cuervo realizes the necessity of his foundation in New Orleans and has decided to partner with Son of a Saint for a second-consecutive season. Lee explained that it was Son of a Saint mentor, Nick Guth, whose "idea created a cocktail that would be offered at many restaurants and bars around New Orleans to help build awareness and funding for the organization. And, it's been great."
From now through the end of the year, when New Orleans patrons order a SONNY'S MARGARITA, a specialty crafted cocktail featuring Jose Cuervo® Tradicional®, a portion of the proceeds, up to $50K, will be donated to the nonprofit. Last year, the SONNY'S MARGARITA was first introduced to New Orleans in the give-back initiative. Jose Cuervo's involvement and donation of $100,000 was critical in assisting the nonprofit's growth to support 200 mentees, their highest enrollment in the organization's 11-year history. Named after Son of a Saint's CEO, the signature drink is made as a classic margarita created with Jose Cuervo Tradicional, where each bar or restaurant can add its unique twist.
"The idea was that Jose Cuervo would match up to $50,000 of whatever we raised," noted Lee. "So last year, we were able to hit that number they gave us of $50,000 in crypto. They loved us so much that they increased their commitment to $65,000. If we hit our $50,000 mark in the restaurants, that's how we got to that $115,000."
The program's growth rate requires more funding for the 200 boys needing clothing, travel, transportation, and educational resources. "When a boy starts with us, he's ten years old. He's with us until he's 21. So I've got to have funding for him all the way through," Lee remarked.
From this Fathers' Day and Juneteenth, Sonny Lee and Jose Cuervo are requesting patrons to ask for the SONNY'S MARGARITA at New Orleans participating bars and restaurants in the 2022 program, including Felipe's Mexican Taqueria, Sofia Nola, Ruby Slipper Cafe, and Windsor Court Hotel. All purchases under SONNY'S MARGARITA will continue the Son of a Saint's mission of mentoring New Orleans residents and helping their communities grow and prosper.
Lee is encouraging "people to go on our website and social media. We're on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook under Son of a Saint. You can see a lot of the activities we're doing with the boys and connect with the organization. We're always recruiting mentors. We have male mentors, female volunteers, and anyone can get involved in the organization."
Gayle Benson, Drew Brees, Marques Colston, and others affiliated with the New Orleans Saints organization contribute resources and time to the Son of a Saint foundation.