It was cold outside, about 26 degrees.

There was snow on the ground.

Undaunted, Ed Elberfeld donned a Hawaiian shirt, colorful lei and grass skirt (with shorts underneath) the afternoon of Feb. 7.

It was more than wishful thinking for the German Village resident. Elberfeld was promoting the Beach Party BBQ, a fundraiser for Village Connections.

The message: "Winter is here, summer is coming," he said.

The soiree will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 24, in the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

Tickets are $60 and available at villageconnectionsofcolumbus.org, Eventbrite.com or by calling 614-226-6567.

Beach Party BBQ replaces Derby Day, which was held three years in a row, as the main fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, which is an independent-living resource for people 50 years old and older.

There were too many competing Kentucky Derby parties and the Derby Day overhead gobbled up too much of the day's receipts, said Elberfeld, a co-founder of Village Connections and member of its board of directors.

"And while we had a lot of fun with that event, we are a creative group and we came up with something else," Elberfeld said.

The German Village Society is not charging for use of the Meeting Haus, he said.

Elberfeld said he plans to sell tickets for the party from his pedicab once the roads are clear of snow and ice.

Kim Cowie, president of the Village Connections' board of directors, said she helped reformulate the idea based on a fundraiser for the homeless she did in Maryland.

"We thought we'd give it a shot here," she said.

Admission includes barbecue prepared by Simply Delicious Catering, drinks and tunes spun by Team DJ.

Also, "We're having a great selection of raffle prizes," said Kristen Schweitzer, executive director of Village Connections.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary