Tickets are now on sale for a western-themed charitable event to be held at Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery, at 927 E. Cape Coral Pkwy, on Sunday, Feb. 9.
The restaurant will host a Kobe beef barbecue, entertainment and silent auction, with all proceeds going to benefit the Miles of Smiles Foundation and its horse ranch in North Fort Myers, said Keith Doxie, president of the foundation.
The fundraiser is from 5 to 10 p.m., when Nevermind's executive chef Shannon Yates will orchestrate an evening of fine dining inside the restaurant, as well as within a fenced "corral" behind it.
Shannon Yates, executive chef
The public is invited, but seating at the outdoor event is limited to 250 guests. Tickets for the outdoor dining seating are $95 each, and the 40 VIP seats indoors are $150 each. Tickets must be purchased by Feb. 7 at Nevermind, Monday through Friday afternoon or on weekends after 3 p.m.
The event got started when Yates decided to donate the proceeds of his monthly club gathering to the foundation, having known the Doxies for years.
The price includes an open bar featuring the Budweiser draft truck, a major sponsor, which will feature domestic and craft beers and concert with a bluegrass band. The parking lot will have hay strewn all about and a white picket fence, Yates said.
"There's going to be a big chow line with Kobe brisket, pork butt and other proteins," Yates said. "The $95 includes all your beer, wine and all your food."
As of Wednesday night, they had about 100 outdoor seats and 20 indoor seats filled, Yates said.
The event is also part of Yates' exclusive "Cult Carne" club of more than 100 members that meet monthly at the restaurant for a family style dinner that typically involves exotic meats.
Yates was a friend of the namesake of the foundation, Miles Doxie, who passed away on May 25, 2006, at age 17, two weeks before he was to leave to serve in the United States Air Force.
"They are just the best people. They put everything in their life into this ranch and it's coming together now," Yates said. "We're putting together a new program with the fencing perimeter with about 500 posts and we're going to put the fence together with families buying fence posts for $70."
Founded in 2007, the Miles of Smiles Foundation is a HIPPA-compliant, registered 501(3) corporation that operates Miles Ranch, a not-for-profit 20-acre horse ranch in North Fort Myers, dedicated to equine-assisted psychotherapy for military veterans who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"We come from a line of military families and we wanted to do something to help veterans in the future. So, we wanted to utilize our son's horse in equine psychotherapy," said Gail Doxie, a licensed mental health counselor.
Through the use of horses in evaluation and treatment, the person is not treated in the traditional setting of mental health counselor-patient. Instead, the patient forms a bond with a chosen horse and, based on certain interactions with the horse, specialists can evaluate the patient and start treatment in a unique way.
"We work with them outdoors so they're not in an office. They can open up and talk more. It's a more peaceful, calming environment," Doxie said. "The horses are metaphors for them."