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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Lucille restaurant fundraising to support bartender’s surgery

“Lucille is about gathering, celebrating, treating each other and ourselves well,” touts the website of Lucille, a Madison pizzeria and cocktail bar. 

Employees agree that statements like this can sound like lip service, but not at Lucille. In this case, the restaurant is putting its money where its mouth is. 

Lucille will be hosting a pop-up event tonight and donating the proceeds to a bartender’s surgical fund. 

Jack Savin, age 20, has only been serving craft cocktails at Lucille for about 8 months, but he’ss been out as transgender for 5 years. This May, he has a consultation with a surgeon for a gender-affirming mastectomy, commonly referred to as “top surgery.” 

Lucille frequently throws pop-up events centered around a charitable cause, according to Beverage Director Caitlyn Nicholson. When she and other Lucille employees saw Jack sharing his GoFundMe link on social media, they wanted to show as much support as possible. 

“Jack is such a sweet guy, and he definitely deserves all of the help we can give him,” says Ana Banzan, the restaurant's director of marketing and events. 

Underground Tropics, the upcoming pop-up, will be held on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 8:00 p.m. in the Lucille Lounge, located at 101 King St., complete with specialty cocktails and a raffle. Lucille will also be holding a “tap takeover” until Jan. 30th; $1 of every Surly beer sold will be donated to Jack’s fundraiser.

“A lot of us here have a lot of trans loved ones in our lives, and I know that those people in my life getting this surgery was honestly such a life changing moment, and really helped them quite literally become who they are,” said Nicholson. “So of course we want that for Jack, who we all love very much.”

Gender-affirming treatments, such as hormones and surgery, have been found to have a positive impact on the health and lives of transgender people. According to Fenway Health, an LGBT health care and research organization, a recent study found that after gender-affirming surgery, transgender people saw a 42% decline in psychological distress and a 44% reduction in suidical ideation. 

Lucille is a mission-driven company that highlights a list of values on their menus, social media and website. One of those is inclusivity, which they define as “[establishing] a culturally diverse and inclusive environment, one that specifically supports minorities, all genders, and those historically underrepresented in our industry.” 

“People talk so much about [how] we're so inclusive and we're so supporting, but to actually see that in play is amazing,” said Savin. “I want everyone to know that I don't take this for granted, and that I literally love every single person that supports me.” 

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