An Excelsior Springs native works as a celebrity bartender to raise money for charity on March 17.
Mike Anderson, Dealer Principal at Anderson Ford, worked as the celebrity bartender with his wife Sue to raise money for the Shadow Buddies Foundation. He worked as a bartender for the night, and raised almost $8,000 in tips alone, as well as a donation of $10,000 from the Missouri Auto Dealers Association, totaling to almost $18,000 raised for the Shadow Buddies. Anderson chose this organization after helping a client’s granddaughter.
“I got involved with one of my clients who had a granddaughter that was sick so I sent her a doll,” Anderson said. “I saw how that affected the family so I decided to raise money for that.”
Marty Postlethwait founded the Shadow Buddies Foundation 24 years ago. Postlethwait started Shadow Buddies because of her son frequent hospital visits. She wanted to make a doll exactly like Miles to make him feel better.
Miles arrived at only 31 weeks. Diagnosed with Midline Congenital Birth Defect, Miles endured over 27 major surgeries by the age of 6.
“I started out of the need to help my son,” Postlethwait said. “Our buddies provide so much hope, love and joy to kids and their families. A lot of time kids develop chronic illness and feel so alone and isolated in the hospital, and the buddies really make them feel less alone in their time of need.”
The shadow buddies have sold more than one million dolls to children in need. Based out of Overland Park, they have sent buddies to children in need in every state of the
United States, as well as several other countries. They have 31 different types of dolls, and can custom make any dolls upon request.
Every doll is gender and race-specific and can come with the same scars as the child. When someone orders a doll, the child will also receive a handmade quilt and a basket
of goodies. Volunteers make all the dolls and quilts. Every donation gives 100 percent of the money to making dolls. The Shadow Buddies Foundation includes a few famous
helpers in their league. One doll represents football soon to be hall of famer Tony Gonzalez. Football players Matt Castle, Ryan Succop and Travis Kelce also regularly help the organization.
Matt Besler of Sporting KC donates to the foundation and plans to co-host a gala with the Andersons in September.
Anderson said the fundraiser turned out great. He and his wife worked the room together to serve their friends that came to support them.
“I worked the room pretty hard, along with my wife, but I have some really good friends,” Anderson said. “I think a lot of people went there because they wanted to help me, and when they got there they realized what it was all about and they wanted to help the kids.”
Anderson said he is grateful that he had so many friends come from out of town. He said friends came from everywhere between St. Louis and Jefferson City to support him.
Anderson also said he is grateful to Dubious for allowing him to be a part of the event.
“I want to make sure Neil (Wilkerson) and his staff get recognition for not just my night but for the previous guest bartenders before me because it’s huge to let somebody like me who has no idea what’s going on behind their bar,” Anderson said. “They’re going to continue to do it with other people so I would first thank them and second encourage other people to get down there and support the various bartenders.”
The foundation will host a golf tournament in May that Anderson encourages everyone to go support. They also will have a dinner fundraiser and a trap shooting fundraiser later in the year.