Rotary Club of Carmel’s BourbonFest to benefit international endeavors


Brad Sexauer and other Rotary Club of Carmel members had taken note of the growth in popularity of bourbons.

So, they decided that a bourbon-tasting event called BourbonFest would be a great fit for a fundraiser to benefit international initiatives the club supports, such digging wells in Africa and building schools in Haiti.

“CarmelFest proceeds benefit organizations and activities here in Hamilton County,” said Sexauer, a Carmel resident whose 1-year appointment term as club president ends June 30. “Rotary has a completely different portion of its foundation initiatives, which are international in scope. We wanted to develop a fundraiser event to support our International endeavors.”

The club will hold its fourth annual BourbonFest March 14 at Platform 24, 12400 N. Meridian St., Carmel.

“Attendance has grown a little bit as we moved forward,” Sexauer said. “The first three have been sellouts, which has been a good thing for fundraising.”

Rotary Club of Carmel also is part of an initiative called Heart 2 Heart, which means of the heart of America to the Heart of Mexico.

“Rotary Clubs from the central U.S. have a relationship with Rotary Clubs in the Mexico City area, and we’ve developed a number of projects to benefit those in need in the Mexico City area,” Sexauer said.

The projects involve schools, hospitals and rehabilitation clinics.

Two-hundred BourbonFest tickets are available, including 75 VIP tickets that allow early entrance at 5:30 p.m. VIP-ticket holders will receive an expert guided tasting tour of bourbon, a commemorative rocks glass and priority access to food sampling.

General admission entrance is at 6:30 p.m. for the event for ages 21 and older.

Sixteen restaurants are participating, including Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Oca, Peterson’s Steak and Seafood, Eddie Merlot’s and Blue Sushi Sake Grill.

In addition to bourbon tasting, beer, wine and soft drinks are available. There will be a silent auction during the evening.

Tickets are $115 for VIP and $75 for general admission. For tickets, visit