Friends rallying for gay Atlanta bartender in need

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Friends of one of gay Atlanta's best bartenders are rallying around her by raising thousands of dollars to help as she fights severe medical problems that have kept her out of work and seriously ill for months.

Queer bartender Bernadette Patterson – a grumpy staple of East Atlanta haunt Mary's – hasn't been behind the bar since September. That's when a genetic condition crippled her liver and left her with symptoms that sometimes make it difficult to see and walk. 

So friends launched a You Caring campaign to raise $10,000 to help Patterson with medical and living expenses as she recovers. Some 88 donors have raised $6,741 since Give back for Bernadette's media needs was launched. 

Hi friends, our dear friend Bernadette is seriously ill, and needs all the help she can get. Without going into detail, she has a genetic condition that has basically shut down her liver, and it will take 6 months to a year to get better. Her doctors have told her she can't drive or work, and her symptoms make it difficult to see or and walk.

She needs food, money, rides, cute animal pics, and friends. (Be aware she has great difficulty returning messages of any kind, but is receiving them.) Please donate whatever you can spare – we'd especially like people to sign up for monthly donations if possible, for the next 6-9 months. Even $20 or $50 a month makes a huge difference in helping pay her living expenses. Currently we're trying to raise $1700 a month to cover them – so our current goal is $6800 to cover the next 4 months.

PLEASE SHARE with people who know and love Bernadette, and want to help a beloved member of our Atlanta queer community who has done so much to help others.

Now, friends are also planning a fundraiser for Saturday during Gurlfrandz, the bar's weekly drag show. Organizers of Mary's is Berning promise drag, a raffle, volunteer bartenders and even Jell-O shots to help raise bucks to support Patterson.

PBR is sponsoring the event with swag and drinks, and organizers have amassed exciting raffle prizes including high-ticket tattoo gift certificates, tickets to music festivals and theater events, and a night at a mansion hotel. Donors include PBR, Memorial Tattoo, Liberty Tattoo, Timeless Tattoo, Brick Store, artists Cooper Sanchez and R. Land, Jess Johnson Accessories, Bongers Home Builders, Anchor Rigging & Goods, Octane, Ria’s Bluebird, Salon Red and more!

Organizers of the event are also in need of donations for the raffle – from framed art to gift certificates and more. Message organizers through the event invite on Facebook.)

In 2011, readers of the Georgia Voice named Patterson “Best Bartender.”

Bernadette Patterson at Mary’s is Atlanta’s Best Bartender, according to our readers. With a no-frills attitude and impressive tattoo sleeves, Patterson is more than just “one of the guys” — she is part of the family and can serve a cold PBR as quick as she can toss out an unruly customer. Cheers, grrl. Have the guys buy you a round.

[photo via]

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