Posts in Kory's Stories
Bridge Ball Postponed til March 31

We decided this morning to postpone the 3rd Annual Bridge Ball until Saturday, March 31, 2018.
We fully expected to host the Ball on Saturday, but when we arrived Friday morning to set up, a telephone pole behind The Elks had snapped and live wires were on the ground. The power was out, water was being blown into the function room, and there was talk of being evacuated. The building is running on generators which means no credit card use, etc., and apparently Elks staff had gotten trapped during the last big flood. There is also a chance that Atlantic Road may close. Parts of the road are blocked already. Flooding is expected to be worse tonight and tomorrow.
Once we heard about the conditions on the Causeway, Commercial Street, the Mills – even at Logan Airport – we knew it was going to be tough to hold the event. Keep in mind, many of the restaurants involved were flooded and forced to close. So many folks are dealing with serious matters this weekend that our decision was easy.
Our choices were to either cancel the Ball or reschedule later in March (there were no dates available in April). Here’s why we settled on Saturday, March 31:

  1. Fridays are too difficult for businesses and other people involved with the Ball 
  2. Saturday, March 10 was booked.
  3. Saturday, March 17: St. Patty’s Day into St. Joseph’s Day are very difficult for our restaurants
  4. Saturday, March 24: Our photographer and deejay had schedule conflicts

We know Easter eve is problematic for some, but we had to make the best out of this situation. All of the businesses that are participating have been notified and are happy with the new date. So are the deejay, photographer, and The Bridge staff. Now that we have a few weeks to recover and breathe, we’ll be able to add a couple new wrinkles to the Ball.
For those who made reservations and plan to attend on the 31st, you’re all set. For those who cannot make it, please email us your full name and the name that the purchase was made under at for a full refund.
We appreciate your understanding and hope to see you all on March 31st.

Thanks for Being Horrible

Everyone loves a parade, so on July 3rd we loaded up the BridgeMobile with a mountain of candy and took it to the free streets of America’s First Seaport.

Disco Dean Horne, aka The Plow Guy, was once again behind the wheel with his head on a swivel. Navigating a parade route with truck and trailer is tough work. Not only do you have to pace yourself between the float or band in front of and behind you, but there’s always a chance that a kid will dart in front of the tires to save a pack of Smarties, or a tipsy friend will bob over for a high-five and a Jello shot. We learned our lesson after our first Horribles Parade, when we threw hundreds of Frisbees and beach balls all over the Boulevard. It was Beatlemania.

Our purpose was to have fun and promote our members (Cape Ann businesses that we call Bridge Buddies). We created The Great Bridge Cape Ann Giveaway, handing out 3000 individually numbered cards to folks prompting them to enroll in our weekly newsletter. In a subsequent newsletter, we'll post the winning numbers matched with donated prized. In total, Bridge Buddies offered more than $32,000 in savings, goods, and services. Amazing.

We were on a mission - heat and humidity be damned - that couldn’t be accomplished without some hired guns. Two Bridge Buddies came along: Carole McNair of the Azorean hula-hooped all the livelong day, and Brooke Sanidas of Avon Rising Stars may have handed out more cards and candy than anyone else. Since when did kids bring Trick or Treat bags to a parade?

Bridge associate Leneai Stuart and her beau, Jaime Jasko, took photos along the parade route of people holding empty picture frames before themselves (look for the album on Facebook soon).

Rob Shea, last seen refereeing our Left Right Center Tournament in April (next one is Fri July 28 at The Elks, RSVP here: ), lead the cheerleading charge and somehow managed to keep two giant coolers from staying full.

Brian Watson was the happiest of bearded Angry Birds and provided kids the opportunity to be equally scared and excited to have their picture taken with a cartoon character.

All Eric Giordano wanted to do was laze in the trailer lounge with a beverage, but he too caught the parade bug and walked the entire route dishing out Skittles and Sour Patch Kids. Eric was so impressed that he’ll be walking next year’s St. Peter’s parade in his Fiesta all-whites.

Their help made for a great event. The Bridge wouldn’t be The Bridge without them.

We want to thank the Fishtown Horribles Parade organizers, the Tucker family and all the judges, volunteers, and participants for another spectacular event. See ya next year!

Oh, my job was to live broadcast everything. Click here for a birdseye view from the BridgeMobile:

Another Sweet Strawberry Festival

Where to begin? The 4th Annual Strawberry Festival at Mile Marker One on June 10, 2017 was out best yet. The weather was perfect, the parking lots were filled, and thousands of people enjoyed the shopping and oversized Kids Zone. We’ll do it again on Saturday, October 7th for the 5th Annual Fall Fest. How ‘bout a shout out for everyone who helped kick off the summer:

Cape Ann’s Marina Resort remains the perfect host. Great staff from the coordinators to the lot attendants to the servers. Cheers to you, Tobin, Joe, Elyse, Rebecca, and everyone else at 75 Essex Ave!

Marshall’s Farmstand anchored the vendors tent once again with fresh local produce (and gigantic strawberries!). The alpacas were a favorite feature, even in the hot sun. Go help the Marshalls celebrate 50 years of business at Concord Street in West Gloucester all summah long.

The Kids Zone was hopping with bluegrass from Pat Conlon, Fran Clark, and Barry Michaud. Thanks to Prime Time Party Zone for the bouncy houses, Cape Ann Animal Aid for the adoptable puppies, Erin Pequeno for face painting, Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team for the sssnakes, Hunters Haven Farm for the ponies, and the Gloucester Police Department for their hummer and ATV. We promise to keep adding more fun features!

We must thank Beauport Gloucester for allowing us to use the far end parking lot. It would be impossible to accommodate festival goers without Beauport’s generosity. Sheree and company come through for us every time, and we’re forever grateful.

It’s a long day for our Bridge Buddies and vendors, and we don’t consider the event a success unless they say so. Thank you Bella & Harvey, The Fudgery, Premier Imprints, Foster’s Grill Store, Phia Women’s Center, Maplewood Car Wash, Cape Ann Power Yoga, Cazeault Solar & Home, Haley Allison of Bare Cheek Beauty, Seaview Farm & Farm Stand, Annette Dion, Studio Crepe (whatta presidential performance!), Atlantic Vacation Homes, Sea Meadow Gifts & Gardens, Saltwater Massage Studio, Cape Ann Lanes, Common Crow Natural Market, Avon Rising Stars, Just 4 Fun, O’Neil Fitness, Michael Whitehead, Katie Elwell of LuLaRoe, Rachel Lavallee of Lavender & Frank, Jessie Nocella, Shane Montoni of Under the Porch Creations, The Open Door, Jodie Malatzky of Tupperware, Lisa Dyke of Sydney’s Jewels & Gems, Erin Pequeno Art & Design, Patty Wall and Wendy Minton of Create & Escape, Michelle Welch of Thirty One and Outdoor Photos by Kadee’s Mom, Nicole Johnson of It’s All in the Bag, Ryan & Wood Distilleries, Sara Lovegreen of Holly C & Co Fine Homes, Ma & Pa’s Pickles, Rebecca Carson of Mary Kay, and the Heyer Family.

Special thanks to Bridge associate Leneai Stuart, photographer Meredith Cooney, Bridge tent staff Rob Shea (and the twins!), Gus & Jessica Margiotta, Brian Watson, and as always, the good Doctor Meredith Lockwood. See ya at Fall Fest :)

The Bridge Turns 5

Did you buy us something wooden? Five years ago today, the first Bridge website, launched. Months earlier we established the company and our Facebook page, but we made June 1, 2012 our de facto birthdate since everything revolved around the site, where we (and our members) were literally uploading videos around the clock.

Ten thousand videos and countless events later our mission hasn’t changed. But like any startup, we tripped, evolved, scratched, adapted – and made it. It hasn’t been easy, and won’t get any easier, but now we’re prepared for new challenges.

An absurd percentage of small businesses fail in their infancy. Few survive the first two years, especially tiny businesses without employees. We were shocked to learn that it’s normal practice for a business owner to not pay her or himself for the first two or three years! “Five years,” we were told. “You have to stick around for five years before you enter the public consciousness.” That’s when people look for the open sign on your storefront, recognize your logo, and have expectations.

Having never run a business before, we were told by dozens of fellow small business owners, as well as countless friends, family and supporters, to do our best to stay the course. It didn’t take long to realize the cards are stacked against small business owners, especially in this day and age. Creating something from nothing – like cash flow – ain’t easy. We absorbed all the encouraging words and cautionary tales. Still do.

There were times we thought of packing it in, but honestly, failing wasn’t an option. We kept chipping away just to get established. We crossed that threshold. We became legit.

We’re not bragging. In fact, we’re extremely humbled. A lot of good friends with solid plans, practices, and genius ideas have lost their businesses since we began. The line between success and failure is paper thin. All it takes is one bad season, a divorce, a pregnancy, an illness, an asshole landlord, and everything you worked for is gone forever. Goodbye dream. Goodbye bank account.

So, we aren’t taking this anniversary lightly. We’re celebrating. We’re proud of our work and reputation, blessed with our friendships, and indebted to your support over the years. The list of folks who helped us get here is incredibly long. Maybe someday we’ll make the time and space to acknowledge each and every one. If we start that list today, perhaps we’ll finish by Year Ten. That’s seems like a good goal. Plus, it’ll give you time to look for something metallic.

Back to work.

Let's Play Left Right Center!

We’re having ourselves another Left Right Center Tournament on Friday, April 21 at The Elks. The first LRC Tournament was a surprising success. It was an inexpensive night out in the middle of winter, conveniently scheduled on a Saturday in late January when the Patriots didn't have a playoff matchup. It sold out fast (there were more attendees than the Bridge Ball!) and afterwards scores of people told us how they couldn't wait for the next one. So here we go.

Why LRC? (For a full explanation and rules, go to the bottom of this article.) For starters, it's a children's dice game that can be learned in 10 seconds. To win, all you need is dumb luck. I don't want to host an event where people can get unnecessarily competitive or weird about money and strategy. 

Figuring out how to run a tournament for hundreds of players and promoting local businesses was a challenge, but we solved that a couple different ways. We were also able to help The Elks raise $1000 towards their various scholarship funds and other community outreach efforts.

The Elks is a great place to hold the event, too. It sits atop Bass Rocks in Gloucester's Back Shore and offers awesome views. They've got a very roomy parking which is a big help since we get a lot of players from outside Cape Ann. There were a ton of folks from New Hampshire, I believe. The Elks also has great bartenders and extremely accommodating members. Whenever we work with The Elks, everybody wins.

So we're doing it again, as it happens, right after tax season closes (wink, wink). Round up your friends and reserve your spots now. It's frantic, fun and friendly. Make sure to follow The Bridge Cape Ann because we may add a fun wrinkle or two.

And yes, I know the official name of the game is Left Center Right, not Left Right Center but… Left Right Center sounds better. Plus, it makes way more sense. What do you do before crossing a street? You look left, then right, then walk straight ahead. If you looked left, then center, then right, you'd get smacked by a Mack truck, Frogger-style. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s roll some dice!

The Bridge Cape Ann's Left Right Center Tournament is Friday, April 21st at 6:30pm at the Gloucester Elks. RSVP here:

How to Play LRC

Each player receives 3 tokens (or coins, bills, scratch tickets, etc.). Players take turns rolling 3 six-sided dice. Each dice is marked with "L", "C", "R" on one side, & a dot on the three remaining sides. For each "L" or "R" thrown, the player must pass one token to the player to the immediate left or right. A "C" means a chip goes the center, or the pot, & stays there until it’s collected by the winner. A dot has no effect.

If you have fewer than three tokens left, you’re still alive but your number of tokens must be equal to the number of dice you roll, rather than rolling all three. If you're out of tokens, your turn is skipped, but here’s where it gets fun. As other players roll Rs or Ls, you may get their tokens & live to roll again. The winner is the last player with chips left & wins the center pot.