30 April 2009

Don Fernando Leon, Patriarch of the Leon Family, died.

Don Fernando Leon Asensio, patriarch of the Leon Family, died yesterday afternoon in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The Leon Family are the makers of La Aurora and Leon Jimenes Cigars as well owners of Presidente Beer and a number of other businesses. But, more importantly they're just wonderful people.

I've had the pleasure of spending time with Don Fernando on several occasions, both in New York and in the Dominican Republic.

I remember the first time I met him. Probably 2002 or 2003...

He walked into the Madison Avenue store wearing his classic green fedora w/ a feather in the band (first time I ever saw him) and he was smoking a Leon Jimenes cigar... corona shaped, but with a Cameroon wrapper. I asked if I could help him, having no idea who he was... and he asked "Do you sell this cigar?" I said "No, I'm sorry we don't". He looked surprised and said, "YOU DONT? I thought you carried Leon Jimenes!?" I said, "We do, but you asked if we sell THAT cigar.. and that one we don't sell." He asked "Why not?" I said, "well it looks like that wrapper is Cameroon, and we only sell Leon Jimenes with Connecticut and Maduro wrappers. I think what you're smoking is called a "Don Fernando" but it's not available for sale, it's only made for the Patriarch of the Leon Family (recalling the story from my sales rep). Out of curiosity, how'd you get it?"He smiled and said "I'm Fernando Leon". And we were friends ever since... and shortly after we began selling the Don Fernando as the La Aurora Choix Supreme in cab's of 50. SO... today, ... all the staff in both stores will be smoking the La Aurora Choix Supreme... in memory of the great Don Fernando.

15 April 2009

Annual Birthday Party Fundraiser May 4, 2009

So, every year I host a big birthday bash with cigars, raffles, auctions, etc... to help raise money for my old high school. It's a small town public school that's funded by a very limited education budget financed by generous taxpayers on fixed incomes. This past year has been incredibly challenging for them to maintain programs, and even provide adequate resources like computers. They were only able to do so because of the funding my event generates.

The Killingly High School "Learning for Life" Fund directly supports the "Career Pathways" program and "School to Career" program that helps in the transition from high school to the next step in these young peoples' lives, whether further education or directly into a trade. http://www.killingly.k12.ct.us/index.php?show=KHS&sub=112&content=86999112

This is my FIFTH one of these!!! We started in 2005 raising $2,500, then about $5,000 in 2006, $8,000 in 2007 and last year just $32,500 thanks to the support of many manufacturers' and many guests' generous donations and participation.
This year's event is Monday May 4 at the Carnegie Club (Located at 156 W. 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan). Last year we had about 120 cigar smokers there, and it really was fabulous. Festivities begin at 6:00pmThere'll be raffles, auctions, great smokes and great company!!! There is no admission price however generous donations are requested!!!

Please feel free to pass along this invitation to any of your generous cigar smoking friends. It's a wonderful opportunity to have a really great time, and do something special for kids at the same time!!!
Here's some video footage from last year's event courtesy of CIGARTV.COM