Wilmette, Community

Record supporters eat, drink and be generous during fundraiser at Pit & Tap

Whether it was because of the barbecue, brews or local news, patrons of Pit & Tap Thursday, May 25, supported responsible and independent reporting for their community.

The fundraiser packed the Wilmette barbecue restaurant, which donated a portion of the day’s proceeds to The Record North Shore, an independent and nonprofit local newsroom that relies on reader support to drive its community reporting.

Many of those readers visited Pit & Tap on May 25.

Record board member George Rafeedie (left) speaks with Molly and Keith Veneziano, of Wilmette.

“Many of the people there (May 25) I knew previously by name, from email or phone conversations,” Editor in Chief Joe Coughlin said. “Now I know them by face, too, which is wonderful. And the support from community members and from Pit & Tap means the world to us and really does power the local news they read every day. It was a special night.”

In a highlight of the evening, Coughlin and Record Board member George Rafeedie stepped behind Pit & Tap’s bar as guest bartenders for a few hours.

Through a portion of the day’s sales, as well as donations in the special “news tips” jar, The Record collected more than $2,500 in contributions on May 25.

Guests could donate at the bar as well in the special “news tips” jar.

Pit & Tap owner Michael Clarke said he believes in the importance of local news “both as a resident and a business owner” and was “proud to step away from a typical night of business to support The Record.”

“Thank you to Michael and Elizabeth Clarke — as well as the entire team at Pit & Tap — for supporting us and allowing George and me to fumble our way behind the bar for a while,” Coughlin said.

The Record North Shore launched its nonprofit news site in October of 2020, a few months after the closure of The Wilmette Beacon, The Winnetka Current and other 22nd Century Media Publications. The Record’s founders — Coughlin, Megan Bernard and Martin Carlino — were all editorial leaders with 22nd Century Media and united to start a reliable, thoughtful news outlet in efforts to restore local news to the community and hopefully others.

Susan Carol (left), Anne Kelly (right) and friend enjoy a beverage during the fundraiser.

Since its launch, The Record has covered New Trier Township communities, and it added Highland Park in 2022. Coughlin and company believe that reliable local reporting is a public good and should be accessible for all, and The Record’s public-service journalism is free to read.

A majority of The Record’s annual revenue comes from its readers, either through donations or subscriptions.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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