Banner - asa eventThank you to everyone that attended Toros y Tapas, The Octopus Club’s summer fundraiser celebrating Spain’s Running of the Bulls. Thanks to the generous efforts of attendees and donors, the second-annual event raised $7,100 for the emergency fund at AIDS Services of Austin!

11728852_1002589909760080_8218150638171065311_o“We’re so proud to have put on another successful Toros y Tapas event,” said event organizer Jay Billig. “The generosity of our friends and neighbors, our hosts Michael and Stephen, and the friends of the Octopus Club, is incredible. We’re looking forward to another great event next year!”

Since 2002, Jay had organized the Octopus Club’s event Tapasgiving, previously held each November, which transformed last year to Toros y Tapas. 

Guests wore white, and as they entered the beautiful Northwest Hills home of Michael Rodriguez and Steven Watkins, each received a red silk sash. Most tied around their waste or their neck like the fleet footed Spaniards running from the bulls, but of course some wrapped them round their heads like turbans and some draped across their chests and dreamed of being “Miss Pamplona.” The soundtrack for the evening was dance music and, of course, Spanish ballads in addition to the sight of handsome Spanish men fleeing for their lives from a horde of furious bulls! 

11699006_1002589753093429_1666488311242315419_oAbout twenty hosts created dozens of tapas and desserts for guests to graze on as they stood around the pool. Blonde Sparkling Sangria made with champagne and a cocktail called Sangre de Toro, a mix of vodka, cranberry, lime, and pureed fresh raspberries were dipped from giant glass barrels. These were accompanied by Malbecs, Riojas, Carmeneres, and Torrontes wines making the choice of beverage the only thing difficult in a wonderful evening.

If you missed Toros y Tapas, keep up with future events by finding The Octopus Club on Facebook and join the mailing list.

A big thank you to our Toros y Tapas hosts Michael Rodriguez and Stephen Watkins, as well as to our sponsors: Mauricio Carranza, Charley Schumate, Jay Billig, Jeffrey Jungbauer, Billy Brown, Lew Aldridge, Jim Lommori, Candis Guidry, Sue Campion, Matthew Rogovein, Kathy Simon, Ahmed Fathalla, Bob Dailey, Doug Plummer, Barry Izsak, Dan Slutsky, Rick Luisi, Erik Wilson, Larry Davis, Steve Paris, Rick Astray-Caneda, Rob Giardinelli, and Kevin McAfee.

The Octopus Club, founded in 1989, is a grassroots all-volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Paul Kirby Emergency Fund at ASA through annual events and parties. The Fund provides financial assistance to individuals infected with or affected by HIV and AIDS. Services paid for by the Fund include assistance with food, housing, medical care, and transportation.