Show Us Your “La La Land” Contest Winners!

Steinhafels is really excited to see our relationship with the Pabst Theater Group continue to grow and thrive.

In case you missed it, earlier this year one of our designers redesigned the Pabst Theater backstage area. You can check out that project HERE.

In the more recent months, we’ve taken part in various contests with the Pabst, to help promote the art of live entertainment in Milwaukee.

Our most recent contest was “This is our ‘La La Land’ – What’s Yours?!” We used social media to engage customers and theatergoers, asking them to post a picture of their ‘happy place’ on our various social media channels… for the chance to win a pair of tickets to La La Land in Concert featuring the MSO at the Riverside Theater. All they had to do was include the hashtag #steinhafelslalaland.

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Steinhafels feels it’s important for employees to feel engaged in these contests, so we held an identical internal contest as well!

We are happy to announce our two winners.

For the public contest we received some very creative entries, from sunsets to pets. The winner of our random drawing is Joanie Rothe of Menomonee Falls.

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Joanie says, “This picture is my happy place because Lake Michigan is so beautiful and peaceful, and it is a very special place for my husband and I.”
Joanie adds that they just saw the movie La La Land recently and loved it. She adds, “Being able to hear the music being played live will be such a treat.”

Our other winner is our own Kelly Lederhaus, one of the managers at our Greenfield store.
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This picture doesn’t need much explaining! Kelly says, “This is my backyard, one of my favorite places to relax by the fire in the summer. I have not seen the movie, but love musicals and I am very anxious to see it live.”

Thanks so much ladies for taking part. Enjoy the show!!
We’d like to share the rest of our employee entries with you, since they are so fun. It’s always nice to see what makes our coworkers tick. Check them out!
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Steinhafels Excited to Join in the Food Truck Craze

UPDATE:  The Double B’s food truck was a great success, with 100+ orders served in just a little more than 2 hours! The aroma of BBQ has been wafting through the office all afternoon, and employees seemed to really enjoy it. We even talked to a few people in the community who came to check it out. Here’s a few pictures. Thanks to all!

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ORIGINAL BLOG:  It’s no secret–food trucks are HOT right now! You can’t go to an outdoor festival, concert, or gathering without seeing various food trucks selling their wares. Pizza, tacos, grilled cheese, empanadas, pierogis, brunch, burgers, sushi… there’s not much you CAN’T get on a food truck these days.

That’s why Steinhafels is so excited to serve as the site for the Double B’s BBQ Food Truck this Thursday, June 22, from 11-1:30pm. All employees are invited to take part during their lunch period. (Cash and Credit Cards accepted)

Local community members and customers are welcome to stop by as well… the more the merrier! We see this as a great chance to get to know some of our neighbors in Waukesha/Pewaukee.

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Here’s the mouth-watering menu (Warning–don’t read if you haven’t eaten lunch yet!!)

Double Bs Food Truck Menu

So don’t worry about packing a lunch on Thursday–let Double B’s do it for you! We hope to serve as the site for future food trucks throughout the summer.

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Thanks. Let’s eat some BBQ!

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DS Tip Of The Week: The Old Saying Is True–LESS is More!

Are you design-illiterate?  Do you feel like any time you try to improve the look of your room, you make it look worse?  You’re not alone!  Most of us don’t have a true eye for decor.  But there are some simple things you can do to make it a little easier on yourself.

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One of the aspects of design where people falter most is trying to do too much. Designer Dawn Adamec says the old saying is true–LESS is MORE! Dawn is part of the Steinhafels Decorating Solutions program, and is based in our Corporate store in Waukesha.  

Dawn explains, “Sometimes things don’t look that big in the store, but then you get them in the room and they are a lot larger than expected. It’s important to check the scale and size of furniture with the actual room dimensions before you make a purchase to avoid mistakes. Mistakes can add more dollars to your purchase with delivery pick up fees and restocking fees. If you do decide to keep it… it will make your room look overstuffed and uncomfortable.”

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We know you might want to fit in just one more piece.. but don’t be afraid to keep it simple! Our talented designers are constantly coming up with quick and easy design tips for you. Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Blood Donation: As Easy As Walking Outside The Office

OK, so the title of this blog is a little misleading. Giving blood isn’t easy… but the cool part is that almost anyone can do it–and possibly save a life. Now THAT’S pretty awesome to think about.

Steinhafels wants to say thanks to all of our employees who took the time to donate blood today. We know that it’s no small task, and we truly appreciate it.

The statistics are staggering. Every 3 seconds someone needs blood. EVERY 3 SECONDS!!

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The BloodCenter of Wisconsin is dedicated to gathering life-saving blood daily… both at the center’s offices on Wisconsin Ave, and through community events like the annual blood drive at the Steinhafels Corporate store.

As we mentioned before, MOST people can give blood. Some of the reasons you may not be able to donate are Medication, Travel, Pregnancy, and Tattoos–but even those have exceptions! Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

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We spoke to a couple employees about why they decided to give blood. Accent Furniture Buyer Jenny Kordus is a long-time donor, and always takes part in the Steinhafels Blood Drive. She explains, “It’s easy to do and hopefully someone benefits from it. There’s no reason not to when it’s right in the parking lot!”

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Merchandise Planner Amy Bullermann is a little newer to the blood-giving game. She makes a very good point. “You just think at one point you might need blood or someone in your family, so it feels good to help someone else.”

We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and thanks again for making Steinhafels such a great place to work. It truly is the people who make it great.

Check out Jimmy, one of our featured blood donors from last year… back at it!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Sticking to the Basic Elements of Design

Are you looking to make some major updates on your home? Do you want a neutral color pallet with pops of color, but don’t know where to start?

This week’s Decorating Solution’s Tip Of The Week is a little different than most.  Instead of just one simple tip, our designer is sharing some of her step by step, insider knowledge from a recent project!

Ida Grossman is an interior decorator at our Greenfield store. For this project she was tasked with helping a couple revamp a childhood farmhouse. Ida says she wanted to create beauty & function by applying these basic elements of design:

Contrast—Adds interest to any room design. In this room, a sharp contrast is seen between the dark brown of the sectional fabric & the wood finish on the tables and the ivory found in the carpet, tufted ottomans, and fur accent pillows.

Proportion—A room that is out of proportion feels wrong to the human eye.  The large elements in this room are proportioned correctly, making it feel right.  

Color— Repetition in a room creates movement as the eye follows the path of the repetition through the space.  Notice how turquoise, the pop color in this pallet, is positioned throughout the room.

Balance—Achieving balance in a room is key. In this design balance is achieved through the varied use of colors and textures.

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Even if these concepts don’t directly apply to your project, hopefully this post gives you some insight into what will work best for you.  If you need any help, feel free to call your local Steinhafels or stop in–one of our designers would love to help you out!

You can read more about Ida’s project in this recent Onmilwaukee.com ARTICLE.

Take some of the guesswork out of interior design!  We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Cool Community Stuff We’ve Been Up To At Steinhafels!

Memorial Day, and these days after, are about much more than big sales and the unofficial kickoff to summer. As we take some time to reflect on our fallen heroes, and enjoy quality time with family and friends… we want to share a post about a couple unique community opportunities we’ve had the chance to take part in recently. One involves the fight to end teen bullying… the other involves an Illinois boy with a special wish.

ARCh Youth Team Presentation

We love to host local organizations in our Community Room when we can. On Saturday, May 20, we were proud to have the ARCh Youth Team present its program “A Celebration of Differences” right here at Steinhafels.

ARCh (The Association for the Rights of Citizens with handicaps) promotes the health, safety, and achievement of children and adults with disabilities. The Youth Team goes to schools and gives presentations that will hopefully one day help end bullying.

Here are some pictures from “A Celebration of Differences,” a teen-created collection of skits and personal stories.

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ARCh Youth Team group singing “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars during the presentation.

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ARCh Youth Team surrounding Brad Weller, a Senior Graduate of Mukwonago High School. They are recognizing Brad’s amazing achievement–reaching over 12,000 people through performances! They are also celebrating the 30th-anniversary of the Youth Team. 
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ARCh Youth Team performing an “Olympics” Skit, which shows the reality of how prevalent bullying is in middle schools. 
Make a Wish Recipient
Steinhafels is committed to taking part in all of the communities that support our stores–including our good friends to the south in Vernon Hills!
A “wish granter” with Make A Wish in the northern Illinois area recently reached out to see if we could help fulfill a boy named Jacob’s dream–to have an awesome gaming area in his home!
A local business supplied the computer and gaming materials, but they needed a place to put all that equipment.
Steinhafels donated this desk, and as you can see, Jacob’s parents might have a hard time dragging him away from his new home arcade!
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 A performance space and a desk… nothing too elaborate… but both of these projects meant a lot to some local kids.
Steinhafels is honored to have played a small role in both of these events, and we look forward to a summer filled with even more smiles from children across the community!

Journal Sentinel and Steinhafels Project a Great Success For Our Vets

Steinhafels, along with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been a proud partner of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight for years. It’s so exciting to see this organization flourish through the years, and expand to include Korean War vets… and soon, Vietnam vets.

We wanted to share an update on what’s been going on with the Honor Flight. Have you ever wished you could personally tell a veteran “Thank You?”

That’s why the Journal Sentinel recently featured the Mail Call project, presented by Steinhafels!

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People across Wisconsin wrote letters to veterans, and sent them to the Journal Sentinel. The letters will be presented to vets on future Honor Flights. In addition, for each letter received, the Journal made a $10 donation to the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Mail Call ran from November to April, and yielded 4,835 letters to veterans–raising $35,000 for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Steinhafels was honored to host the check presentation this week.

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Here are some pictures from the first batch of Mail Call letters, which were distributed on the most recent flight, Saturday, April 8.

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The letters received through Mail Call were presented in addition to letters that Honor Flight volunteers secretly collected from family and friends of the veterans several weeks before the flight.

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On the flight home from Washington DC, each veteran’s name is called out on the loudspeaker, and the packages are handed out. Many veterans get very teary as they read the letters.

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Korean War veterans also received a letter from a Korean citizen who lives in Seoul, South Korea… thanking the vets for saving their country. How cool is that!?!

The funds raised through Mail Call will go toward future Honor Flights. It’s important to add that the Honor Flight is an all-volunteer organization that dedicates $.98 of every dollar donated directly to its mission.

The next Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is Sunday, May 21.  There will be following flights on Friday June 9, Saturday September 16, Saturday October 14, and Saturday November 4.

If you are interested, they we are now accepting applications from Vietnam veterans, and they expect to fly large numbers of them this fall. Priority will still go to terminally ill veterans (from any conflict), then WWII and Korean War veterans because they’re the oldest.  After that, they will fly as many Vietnam veterans as possible!

You can apply HERE.

Also, check out this 5 Words on Freedom movie premiere footage, if you haven’t yet! Steinhafels was proud to host this event a couple years ago. We look forward to continuing this partnership with our heroes for many years to come.

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Life Without a Mattress… Steinhafels Teams Up With Meriter

It all started with a phone call… and has translated into a better night’s sleep for some of Madison’s poorest residents.

Steinhafels is proud to be a part of many community organizations across southeast and central Wisconsin, in addition to the Fox Valley. We especially love it when a cause we’re supporting also relates to our slogan: Relax. In this case, we look at some Madison residents who haven’t had a relaxing night’s sleep in years.

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Lisa Bell, Community Relations Manager at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, reached out to our Steinhafels West Superstore Zone Manager Joe Heins, who specializes in Mattresses. Meriter was looking to donate some mattresses to low income residents–some of whom are veterans. They asked us for a price quote… and we were able to offer them a very deep discount on mattresses and frames. 

Delivery Day was this Tuesday, May 9. The Steinhafels crew was ready to make some beds!

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Bell explains, “I am so pleased that Steinhafels has stepped in to help us make this project a reality. We are committed over the next couple of years to continuing to provide beds to the residents of the Triangle Neighborhood. This neighborhood houses some of our most vulnerable, medically and emotionally, fragile adults.”

The Triangle is a neighborhood of condos and apartments managed by the city, and houses some of Madison’s poorest, highest-risk residents (average yearly income is approximately $10,000).

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Heins says he likes to put an emphasis on helping local charities, and that it was bittersweet watching the residents receive their mattresses on Tuesday. “It was an amazing opportunity, but also heartbreaking. Listening to their personal stories, the challenges these people have faced and what they were sleeping on before, almost brought us to tears. It makes you take a look at the little things, that some of us often take for granted, and how it can be life changing.”  

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One of the recipients was an older woman, who was just released from the hospital a few weeks earlier after surgery.

THIS is what she was sleeping on before the delivery–a makeshift bed of pillows on the cold, hard floor:

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As you can imagine, Heins says she was so happy, almost in tears, when the Steinhafels delivery crew arrived with this bed, donated by Meriter!

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She’s not alone. Several of the resident were literally SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR. Heins admits that something like this truly brings to light just how important a good night’s sleep is.

“A good night’s sleep is so important for your health and quality of life. Things that we take for granted nightly are things they don’t have the luxury of. It’s a decision between food or rent, so buying a mattress isn’t even an option.”

We are so proud of our employees like Joe, who go the extra mile to help others… and we’re glad he appreciates us as well. Joe says, “I always love being able to talk about how great the company I work for is. Seeing the good that Steinhafels does for the community is why I am always trying to recruit my friends and family.”

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It’s just a small step to combat the nationwide issue of poverty and poor living conditions, but even if it brings just a tiny bit of awareness that we all may have a neighbor in need… that’s something.

You can learn more about this project, on various local media!

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL FRONT PAGE ARTICLE

CHANNEL 27 TV NEWS STORY

AWESOME Behind the Scenes VIDEO!

Also, check out a full photo gallery HERE!

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To Market, To Market… Hot New Trends

As someone who is still relatively new to the retail furniture world, I can truly say that some aspects of the business still really fascinate me.

One of those aspects is how the heck we decide WHAT to put in our stores! I mean our superstores are huge, and we carry some of the top furniture lines in the business, but at the end of the day, there is still a ton of furniture out there that we don’t carry.

What I’ve learned is that it’s a VERY precise business. Our buyers do a ton of research to determine the best fits for our store.

All of that research culminates in Market, which is held several times a year–in North Carolina and Las Vegas.

For this blog, we’re going to take a look at the most recent Market–the Spring High Point Market in beautiful NC. According to the Market’s website, more than 75,000 people flock to this small Carolina town every six months to take part in one of the furniture industry’s biggest trade shows. The “Market” is made up of 180 buildings, 11.5 million square feet of showspace, and 2,000+ exhibitors from more than 100 different countries.

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Upon their return from the Tar Heel State, I asked our buyers to give me a little sneak peek into what’s hot this season, and what it’s like to be at Market.

Elaine Haskey, Upholstery

“In the world of Upholstery we were really excited to see Boho, or ‘nuevo hippie.’ It’s very colorful, almost Middle Eastern looking…like items you would find in a bazaar. The pieces are made from very thick fabrics full of color.”

-Modern looks that span all price ranges, both in fabric and in leather. That modern look is also coming into motion furniture.

-Power lumbar continues to be big in motion. Power recline, power headrest, and power lumbar allow the lower back to be supported.

-BOLD colors: Like chartreuse, yellow, and burgundy

-BLUE is still really big, which confirms what we’ve been doing as a company

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Dawn Still, Case Goods

“Being in Case Goods, what we’re looking at is new wood finishes, distressing of the wood, and the wire brush look. It literally looks like someone beat up the piece of wood. Grays are hot. Also a dry finish, and tons of wood species: Acacia, walnut, bleached white oak, and mango to name a few. We are also seeing more multi-functional pieces.”

Jenny Kordus, Accent Furniture

“Accent Furniture vendors are really focusing on multi-purpose pieces–like bookcase piers, cabinets that could be storage or wine racks, tables that can also be used for the office, and that’s just to name a few. Farmhouse is still a big trend, as well as whites and off-white. And barn doors are everywhere!”

Teri Hayden-Kalis, Rugs and Accessories

The trends I saw repeated the most in the showrooms:

-BLUE: All shades of blue accessories and rugs everywhere–Navy, Turquoise, Peacock   

-GOLD/ANTIQUE BRASS: Gold and brass are back, as you may have been noticing on all of your clothing lately (zippers, buttons, etc)… and showrooms are also filled with brass accents and accessories.

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-MONGOLIAN FUR PILLOWS: These are everywhere! They come in every color, go with anything, and add tons of texture.

This is some great insight into the hottest furniture trends for this spring and summer. But I also wanted to know a little bit more about the market itself. What is it REALLY like to attend, and what are some tips for those who may be checking out Market for the first time?

The biggest reaction from our buyers: Wear comfy shoes!! Buyers typically log about 6 miles a day, walking from appointment to appointment.

This spring, our buyers also had to compete with rain basically the entire time. When you compile that with 12-15 hour days, it takes some of the glamour out of the experience!

High Point Market Spring 2017 pic with courtesy

But all of our buyers agree Market is a great event for our industry, and a vital part of networking and developing relationships with vendors.

Jenny says it’s also a chance for the buyers to grow closer. “We don’t always get to hang out at work, so it’s nice to be together, have ‘family’ dinner.”

Teri adds, “My favorite thing about market is seeing all of the new products and designs displayed in gorgeous showrooms. Most showrooms are reset and redesigned for every market.”

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And believe it or not, Market is just the START of all the work for our Merchandising Team! Dawn explains, “You come back and you have to execute. The market is the easy part.. then you have to follow through with the vendors.”

As I’ve learned through my first couple years of working at Steinhafels, the world of furniture is beautiful to gaze at and enjoy, but there is sooooo much work that goes on behind the scenes to make it happen.

I will continue to share some of my discoveries in this blog… so stay tuned!

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Steinhafels & Best Buddies!

The Brewers may have crushed the Reds 9-1 Tuesday night… but the real win was OFF the field at Miller Park!

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Best Buddies Wisconsin hosted its annual Brewers Tailgate, and a couple Steinhafels employees had the chance to hang out with the Best Buddies gang. Steinhafels recently partnered with the organization to sponsor six different schools in the Milwaukee area. You can read about this exciting new friendship on our Community Giving page, and on the Best Buddies Blog.

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The Brewers donated 950 tickets for Best Buddies to give its students, and other participants. They were kind enough to offer some of the tickets to Steinhafels. We had a great time getting to meet some new people. It also didn’t hurt that the Brewers’ bats were on fire, and that Eric Thames hit his 11th homer of the season–setting a franchise record for most home runs in April.

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Bullpen coach and Racine native Marcus Hanel and Brewers pitcher Corey Knebel even dropped by the tailgate to say hi, and snag a couple hot dogs!

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We wanted to hear a little more about what the experience was like for both Steinhafels Bluemound Mattress Manager Chris Trollinger, and Best Buddies Deputy Director of Mission Advancement Lauren Peter. It’s interesting to see both perspectives.

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Chris’s Thoughts

Did you guys have fun at the tailgate and game?

We had a great time at the event. The hot dogs were great, and it was a nice opportunity to mingle with other Steinhafels folks as well as different members of the community.

You said you didn’t know about Best Buddies before this. What do you think about the organization, from what you know now?

I do believe it is so nice to do any type of mentoring. I believe this special group really benefits from just a little extra interaction.

Are you happy that Steinhafels sponsors and takes part in a variety of community organizations?

Yes, I believe that’s an important part of the family values that Steinhafels demonstrates.

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Lauren’s Turn

Why is the annual tailgate such an important event for Best Buddies?

Answer is two-fold: First, it is a great opportunity for the community to see our mission in action through volunteering and raising awareness with the surrounding tailgaters; secondly, this is a really incredible way to thank our students for a great year, as well as engage them with like-minded peers from other schools in the area and socialize with buddies.

Our Steinhafels employees really enjoyed it. Why is it so cool to get your community sponsors to events to get the true “Best Buddies” experience?

Reading about our programs doesn’t do justice to the impact the programs truly have on participants, volunteers, etc.  The reason our programs are so successful is because of the friendship aspect, which is a human connection, something very authentic that you have to experience first-hand and in-person to really get an understanding of how beneficial the programs are.

What would you like to say to Steinhafels employees who are thinking about coming out to the next Best Buddies event?

We would love to have you! There’s so many opportunities to engage with our organization whether that’s through volunteering at our events or participating with us. Give us a shot – you never know, you could make a new friend!

You can see all of our pictures, and some video from the tailgate HERE.