Photography by Sarah Oden
Relaxed or rigid, skinny or straight, your favorite blue jeans are the perfect fit for this new event. Hosted in the heart of South Main District, Blue Jeans & Bubbles will feature the best of the SoMa neighborhood with live entertainment, entrees and bubbly – of course! Chairmen Mallory McFall and Gerald Thomas will welcome guests to this outdoor, festival-style atmosphere to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, a home away from home for families with children who are being treated at area hospitals. So grab your favorite pair of jeans, come with a friend and support the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas.
Mallory and Gerald were initially introduced to the organization through colleagues. “After hearing one family’s personal experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, I reached out to see how I could be a part of it,” Mallory explains. “I volunteered at the 2020 Chocolate Fantasy Ball and was asked to host the weekly bingo night for families at the house. I saw the impact of the organization.” The Ronald McDonald House offers families a comfortable room, meals, laundry and support – at no cost – so the family can focus on what matters most, the welfare and recovery of their child. “Seeing how a simple contribution, like hosting bingo night, serves such a meaningful purpose fuels my motivation to continue so that families can stay together and near the hospital.”
Gerald has a heart for service, an example set by his grandmother, which he continues as a young professional. “I’ve made it my mission to be a servant leader and partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas.” He was invited to join the development committee and the idea for Blue Jeans & Bubbles emerged. As Gerald works with the RMHCA team of leaders, he is inspired by their devotion to the organization. “They have a true passion for the work they are doing and the families they serve. I am constantly motivated by their dedication; it makes me want Blue Jeans & Bubbles to be the very best event it can be.”
At the Bernice Garden, there will something for everyone. Blue Jeans & Bubbles offers delicious entrees from participating SoMa restaurants, discounts from retailers and guests can choose a drink from the signature champagne bar. “This isn’t a traditional event as it is chaired by two millennials,” Gerald emphasizes. “It encourages support from a new, emerging demographic of philanthropists,” Mallory adds. “We want the community to know that everyone can help these families and make it possible for them to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.”