Watch Alice Laussade Explain How She Put The Fun In Philanthropy With Meat Fight.
If Alice Laussade knows one thing to be true, it's that luncheons suck.
“Lunch is like my favorite thing besides breakfast, dinner and snacks,” she says. “But something happens to lunch when you add the letters E-O-N-S to the end of it. Like, ugh.”
We hear her. It's not that helping out a charity is inherently awful but, man, are the abundance of forks, tea cups and fancy dress annoying as all get out. Even worse, they're, like, not fun at all.
Laussade, on the other hand, is a bucket of fun. And when she started Meat Fight six years ago, she wondered if raising money for a good cause couldn't be fun, too. It's something that's made these annual events of hers so successful from the jump. It's also why, with no advertising budget, tickets to the annual barbecue competition sell out in under an hour, why there's a waiting list of people willing to pay to volunteer at the event and why, just last year, Meat Fight raised more than $100,000 for the National MS Society.
It's all part of a concept Laussade calls “funlanthropy,” which was also the subject of a TED Talk she gave on the subject last month at Southern Methodist University. A video from the event was posted to YouTube over the weekend, and it's a pretty interesting watch.
In the talk, Laussade discusses the origins of Meat Fight, how she convinced Nick Offerman to judge the event a couple years back, and where Bacon Skee Ball comes from (among other topics), while managing to pepper in tons of the humor that helped her land a James Beard award for her writing contributions to the Dallas Observer a few years back.
She also puts on blast folks who post “Rock The Vote” jpegs on Facebook and then don't end up voting, boasting that Meat Fight aims to destroy apathy with meat.
And it's true: By making giving fun again, Laussade's managed to start one of the food world's most anticipated annual events from the ground up. To wit, tickets to this month's “Merry Meatmas”-themed sixth offering sold out in a matter of minutes, although donations to the MS Society can still be made here.
Even if you do find yourself on the outside looking in this year while your buddies are posting mouthwatering Instagrams with their sauce-covered phones, there's a bigger take away from the talk that we'd all do well to apply to our lives from here on out.
As Laussade puts it: “Whatever you guys are doing, whatever cause you support, whatever event you're running, please do it — and have fun while you're doing it. For the love of everything meaty.”