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Those who attended A Night for Our Future, an evening benefiting the Sustainability Institute, left feeling truly inspired. The award-winning nonprofit organization works to conserve energy and reduce our overall environmental impact, and they debuted an inspiring documentary regarding their process and work at their chic fete at the Hippodrome on Thursday night.

Joel T. Hamilton and the Shrimp Family Collective kicked off the night with an awesome set during the cocktail hour, where guests sipped on signature cocktails and noshed on gourmet treats from Duvall Catering. Cocktail Club’s bourbon cocktail had partygoers going back for seconds, and the specially crafted beverage was soon scarce to be found. “We actually drank it all, there’s none left!” Deborah Kaufman announced to the crowd, laughing.

Duvall Catering drew inspiration from the venue and offered up a popcorn bar at the theater’s concessions stand. Truffle & Herb, Rocky Road, and Hot Buffalo Bleu Cheese were favorites among the crowd, but the Cheddar & Bacon offering was a favorite.

Everyone soon found themselves being ushered into the theater. Joel Hamilton and the Shrimp Family Collective, featuring the sounds of Bill Carson and Michael Trent, took the stage and enthralled the audience. As the band left the stage, with Hamilton clacking along on one tambourine soled-shoe, the opening scenes of the documentary lit up the screen.

The film was a lesson to all of us on energy usage, environmental issues, and the power of even small organizations to enact massive change on our community. Partygoers slowly filtered out to the lobby, where they could be heard buzzing about the video over drinks.

The Sustainability Institute works to empower our communities by transforming homes and workplaces to conserve energy and reduce overall environmental impact through weatherizing homes, focusing on green building training and services, and providing community education and outreach. The Sustainability Institute strives to develop skill sets, build expertise, and inspire others to help lead this movement.