Tianjin Corn Toss: ‘6666: The Number of the WEast’

Standard

The annual WE Brewery corn toss tournament has become one of the most anticipated Maovember events. And this year is shaping up to be even more a-maize-ing because a) it will be held Halloween (HalloWEen?) weekend and b) a secret donor already has the ball rolling er, bag tossing.

That donation of RMB 6,666–the number of the WEast!–is to be split three ways: 2,222 goes to the corn toss winners, 2,222 goes to the best-dressed team and 2,222 goes to Maovember.

That’s even more incentive to get a group of well-dressed corn-tossing friends together on October 30 to share some drinks and toss some corn.

As usual, every mao of the RMB500 entry fee per team goes to Maovember. Also as usual, the event will include a “tab war” — the table that buys the most booze will see its bill donated to Maovember. Plus, a raffle with some sweet prizes.

Kudos to Steve Wang of WE Brewery for hosting this excellent event each year. And for helping us kick off Maovember 2021!

If you’re interested in joining the tournament, as a player or spectator, or if you want more details about Maovember, give us a shout (add ‘beijingboyce’ on WeChat or email nihao (at) maovember.com).

Here are some photos from Tianjin parties past, including last year’s contest!

School report! Maovember 2020 Donation Recap

Standard

As Maovember 2021 nears, here is a quick recap on how last year’s 72,783.8 RMB / 727,938 mao in donations were spent by our partner, The Library Project. (See the posts following this one for details about the events that helped raise those funds.)

We requested our funds be spent near Tianjin, since WE Brewery and its corn toss tournament in that city is one of Maovember’s signature events, and in Shanxi province, as Grace Vineyard is based there and supported numerous events in 2020, including a wine lunch, wine dinner and grape-based beer launch.

Zhaidong School

In March, Maovember 2020 funds went to Zhaidong Primary School in Jishan County in southwestern Shanxi province. The school has 601 students and staff, covering K1 to Grade 6, from a community of 5,000 people within a 4-km radius. Many of the students are the children of parents who work in distant areas.

A Library Project field trip found a heavy focus on reading and a need to upgrade facilities. Maovember funded 1200 books plus tables, chairs, bookshelves, a globe, librarian training materials, delivery fees and more. The total cost was 38,828 RMB or 388,280 mao.

Lantian School

In late May, Maovember funds went to Lantian School in Yi County of Hebei province, the closest school to Tianjin we could find. This school has 1550 students and 59 teachers, and covers Grade 1 to Grade 6. Most of its books were bought 15 years ago and needed replacement, with Library Project reporting it only found 500 suitable ones during a field trip.

With space at a premium, Library Project suggested funding a dozen “little seed” reading corners through the school. Maovember funded 1360 books, plus shelves for each corner, teacher training, a post-donation report and more. The total was 33,969.2 rmb or 339,692 mao.

Sourcing Strategy

The Library Project takes many things into consideration when providing books and other materials, from school size to student age to specific psychological situations.

“As there is a large number of left-behind children in rural schools, we have increased the proportion of books on children’s psychological construction, child protection, and children’s psychological health,” reports The Library Project. “The proportion of the books is as follows: literature (48%), history and geography (8%), natural science (25%), art (10%), and children’s mental health and growth (9%).”

TLP also takes into consideration what proportion of books to include from STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Books are sourced via “qualified children’s book suppliers, publishers, and websites.” TLP also sources tables and chairs that are “safe, environmentally friendly, and suitable for transportation and assembly” and bookshelves appropriate for the height of children, using a bidding process for the final decision.

Thanks to everyone who supported Maovember 2020. We aren’t the biggest fundraiser but try to do a few good deeds each year while keeping to our core philosophy of fun events (usually involving a game and a food / drink special), of giving 100 percent of the funds we raise (we cover our own admin costs) and of using the money for visible results (like books!) Thanks also to The Library Project for putting those funds to work and for its high degree of transparency and honesty.

We will start posting updates about Maovember 2021 soon! Here are a few more photos from Lantian School in Hebei.

Maovember 2020 Recap

Standard

Yay, the final Maovember report is done. And despite starting late, having a much smaller organizing committee, and 2020 being 2020, this year’s campaign raised more than last year’s, a total of 72,793.8 rmb or 727,938 mao* in donations.

(Frankly, we weren’t trying to “beat” a number but this result is satisfying given the challenges we faced.)

As usual, 100 percent of revenues went to our partner, The Library Project, with admin costs covered by the organizers themselves. As usual, the focus was on fun, with everything from corn toss and flip cup tournaments to our annual Dog Pub Crawl.

There were are also some unique fundraising events, including the release of the first Marselan grape beer, a pair of Malaysian-themed wine and food extravaganzas, a hutong dinner with French cuisine and Chinese wine, and more.

I’ve included a summary of each event below so you can see our diverse agenda this year. (Please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions!)

I don’t want to start naming names, as I’ll inevitably forget someone, but suffice it to say Maovember is only possible thanks to hundreds of people who support this quirky project, from veterans like Steve Wang of WE Brewery, who organized yet another amazing corn toss tournament, to new supporters like Jasmine Kho of Kakikopi, who spearheaded two events, joined Dog Pub Crawl and printed our huge Maovember logos. Read more in the wrapups below.

We are lucky to have so many people step up to help a project so quirky and chaotic and creative, and support a philosophy that charity sometimes hits your budget a bit (but are lucky enough to be in a position to handle it), that transparency is crucial (it’s why we stick to giving 100 percent of donations and use the QR code as much as possible) and that, above all, fundraising should be fun.

We’ve requested that our funds be used for schools in Hebei and Shanxi–last year’s money went to Hubei–and will provide updates as they are put to use.

Note: Total includes 65,472.6 donated directly to the QR code, 4,766 donated to The Library Project’s general QR code (all event fees) and 2,545.2 donated from abroad via The Library Project’s overseas link. Our dedicated QR code is especially good as donors can see their money instantly go to The Library Project and return to the QR code page to see the growing donation total.

Sour Power | Picklebacks at Paddy O’Shea’s

Standard

Paddy O’Shea’s included a Maovember pickleback fundraiser as part of its 13th anniversary party this year. A pickleback is a booze shot, typically Jameson, followed by a pickle juice shot, and has been our unofficial Maovember drink since 2013.

This year’s fundraiser featured two pickle juices. One by chef Jeff Powell–of bar That One Place–aged for six weeks and loaded with savory goodness, the other by chef Ray Heng of Mexican restaurant Pebbles and aged with whole jalapenos for a spicy bite.

Picklebacks were rmb30 each and when the last shot was done, the event had raised 2,310 kuai / 23,100 mao for Maovember.

Brew Crew | Marselan Beer Launch at Jing-A

Standard

A Maovember event doubled as a world first on November 29 as the first beer made with Marselan grapes was launched at Jing-A Taproom in Beijing. Marselan has the potential to become China’s ‘signature grape.’

The event was headed by Jing-A  brewers Kristian Li and Alex Acker of Jing-A. Winemakers Lee Yeanyean of Grace Vineyard, which supplied grapes for the beer, and Tong Lili of Manzhouxiang, both poured Marselans, while Jim Boyce of website Grape Wall of China brought five wines from across China, including Treaty Port in Shandong, which provided bottles specifically for the event.

This event, bridging the beer and wine worlds, included snacks by Jing-A and a raffle for extra bottles, and raised 4,546 kuai / 45,460 mao for Maovember.

MaoLaysia Dinner | Pairing Brasserie 1893 and Grace Vineyard

Standard

The MaoLaysia lunch theme carried on to dinner as Malaysian chef Addison Liew of Waldorf-Astoria’s Brasserie 1893 restaurant and Malaysian winemaker Lee Yeanyean of Grace Vineyard teamed up to pair French cuisine with Chinese wine.

Liew prepared a series of intricate dishes that featured everything from tuna to chicken to venison ribs, plus a unique “popcorn ice cream” dessert, while Lee oured his own wines, from Grace’s creamy chardonnay to a series of supple reds, explaining each one as he made his way around the table.

The event was held in Waldorf-Astoria’s private HOME area, with its own kitchen and lounge area. The guests warmed up for dinner with a tasting of Grace’s ‘Angelina’ Reserve Sparkling wine as well as a handful of reds, including a pair of vintages of Deep Blue. This was a first in terms of bringing together a Malaysian chef and a Malaysian winemaker. Special thanks to David, Alex and Niu for their support and to Jasmine for handling the coordination for an event that raised 13,376 kuai / 133,760 mao for Maovember.

MaoLaysia Lunch | Pairing Kakikopi and Grace Vineyard

Standard

A core goal of Maovember is to raise money in fun unique ways. This year’s MaoLaysia lunch embodied that spirit by pairing a Malaysian restaurant owner and a Malaysian winemaker in China for the first time. Jasmine Kho of Southeast Asian restaurant Kakikopi in Beijing and Lee Yeanyean of Grace Vineyard winery in Shanxi put on a meal to remember.

More than a dozen Malaysian favorites, including Laksa Sarawak, Beef Rendang and Malay Chicken Curry, were paired with a range of Grace sparkling, white and red wines, with Chairman’s Reserve 2015 as a special treat. Kho and Lee led the way, explaining each pairing to the attendees, many of whom showed up ready for the “colorful shirt” theme.

By the time the last dish and last glass were finished, the event had raised 7,372 kuai / 73,720 mao for Maovember.

Walk Stars | CHEERS’ Mulled Wine Tour

Standard

Feuerzangenbowle-what!? This year’s four-stop CHEERS Maovember Mulled Wine Tour kicked off with a treat–a rum-soaked sugar loaf set on fire to sweeten the wine. Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German way to make mulled wine–and it got everyone in the mood for a fun tour.

The tour stops included CHEERS stores at Chaoyang Park, Tuanjiehu and TopWin Center before wrapping up at XL Bar & Restaurant. And it included games such as ring toss, cork throw and darts along the way, with prizes from Hulu and CHEERS, and lots of piping hot mulled wine.

With entry fees and a remote donation, all the way from Switzerland by CHEERS owner Claudia Masueger, the tour raised 3,184 kuai / 31,840 mao for Maovember.