andy wells
Somers Point resident Andy Wells created the Atlantic City Bartenders Ball to increase awareness about the importance of designated drivers. andy wells photo

Andy Wells wants to prove that bartenders are not just worried about making tips. They care about their customers.

So the 38-year-old Somers Point resident and owner of the Atlantic City Bartending Training Center created the Atlantic City Bartenders’ Ball.

With help from Brigantine’s Jaime Muratore, the Bartenders’ Ball brought together members of the area’s hospitality industry for a night of fun, but it also increased awareness among bartenders about the fight against drunken driving and the importance of designated drivers.

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The gala, held in June at The Chelsea in Atlantic City, raised $3,700 for the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers. Wells said he chose to donate the money to HERO because of its sensible message that “it’s OK to drink and have fun, just don’t be a moron,” he said.

Wells uses his center in Atlantic City and the ball as tools to show bartenders that it’s more important to flag a person who drinks too much than it is to get that person’s tip. He hopes to take the concept across the country, with all money earmarked for charity.

“I care about my customers, just like so many other bartenders do,” said Wells, who also bartends at the Ducktown Tavern in Atlantic City. “I don’t want to get rich all at once. If they get mad at me and don’t tip me if I cut them off, but they are safe for the night, I am OK with that.”

Short stories

Ocean City’s Jacklyn Hilling recently won first place in a writing contest at the National Health Occupations Students of America Conference at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. At the same conference, Galloway Township’s Katharine Raphael-Naylor scored a spot in the Top 10 in a pathophysiology knowledge competition. Both attend the Atlantic County Institute of Technology and were accompanied by their advisor, Mullica Township’s Gina DeMaio. ... The Ocean City Fine Arts League recently announced the winners of its Ocean City-themed July art competition. Egg Harbor Township’s Lois Adam took best in show. She also took the best in category award for mixed media. Other local best-in-category award winners were Ocean City’s Richard Williams (oil/acrylic) and Marian Amann (photography), Cape May’s Carmela Palotta (pastel) and Vineland’s Frank Padolfo (3-D).

Short Stories compiled by Emily Brill.

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