Kansas City is known for its generosity and big heart – which come through in many ways. That includes a bounty of charitable events held in our area each year, combining Kansas Citians’ love of a good time with the ability to help causes that help our community. These events literally could not happen without volunteers – and we would like to showcase one particular volunteer whose organizational skills and energy have helped promote glass recycling in a big way, through her involvement in some of our city’s most prominent benefit events!

Mary Nestel is Beverage Coordinator for Jazzoo, a volunteer position she has held for the past 9 years, though she has been involved in that event in other capacities since 1998. As Beverage Coordinator, Mary organizes over 10 bar locations at this huge event (see story above), which also entails training, scheduling and supervising over 100 bartenders. She serves the same role for Brew at the Zoo, the other (newer, and somewhat smaller) benefit event for the Zoo, but Jazzoo was the event that opened her eyes to the possibilities of recycling glass there and led her to Ripple Glass, in 2010. We’ve been collecting glass there ever since – and to other events that Mary has been involved in, as well! She is truly one of our top Ripple “AmGlassadors”!

Mary is a strong advocate for recycling, and believes that the key to having a successful recycling program is educating people and providing an easy way for them to do it – and she carries this strategy through the entire recycling process at these events – from thorough training of volunteers prior to the big night, to the removal of the last bottle and can at the end of the night!

She attributes much of her success in these events to having great volunteer bartenders, and her team consists of all professionals, most of whom take time off from their paying jobs at bars and restaurants around town to volunteer. Many of them have been with her at Jazzoo since her early days of doing these events, and they love doing Jazzoo because the Zoo values their volunteers so highly, and it is such a fun and worthy event. Her team buys into Mary’s mission for providing great customer service at these benefits, which is to keep the lines short and help guests have a great time!

Mary has deep roots in Kansas City, as her family owns the Irish Crystal Company, and for years she was involved in the Kansas City Irish Parade and Westport Irish Festival. She has also enjoyed serving in various restaurants and bars and with other charity events in our city over the years. Mary worked side by side with her father, Bob Nestel Jr., in his building of a large and successful insurance agency, and after his death, established her own independent agency. She believes her occupation has played a role in successfully running events, as she implements strict rules, policies and training procedures to minimize liabilities that can occur when serving alcoholic beverages at these functions.

Ripple Glass is proud to be associated with Mary and with these wonderful charity events in our town – and we are happy to help make glass recycling part of every event possible in Kansas City!