Each year, the American Heart Association hosts its Heart Ball, which is one of its main fundraising events. This year, the Charlotte event was held on February 4th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The fundraising target this year was $1.2 million dollars.
Thanks to donations from our local beer community, the American Heart Association got over $11,000 closer to that goal.
When I sat down to make a list of everyone in the craft beer (and cider) community who donated, I couldn't believe how many donors I saw. Over 20 local breweries, one ciderworks, and one bottle shop donated!
Kit Burkholder, General Manager for Kit's Trackside Crafts, donated an in-home five course dinner for ten people paired with a beer tasting in honor of his friend Jedidiah "Jed" Auvil. I asked Kit to share a little bit about his friendship with Jed and why he was inspired to donate in Jed's memory:
"I went to get my MBA from Wake, and they set us in teams of 4-5 candidates. Being the gregarious sort of person I am, I wanted to get to know my team better. My teammate, Bill Auvil, thought enough of our group to bring out his older brother, Jed, to our gatherings. Jed was a jokester, entertainer, and musician. He was witty, always quick to make us laugh...and the ability to loosen up in a masters level program was welcome. I might've been a little too loose (ha), but it was laughs with Bill, Jed, & others that stick out in my mind when I think back to my masters program. Jed was 36 when he died a few weeks ago due to a heart attack. Far too young for anyone to die of a heart attack. I have done this dinner in the past to donate my time & beer knowledge to raise money. I mean, what a trade, right? This year, after Jed passed, I knew this donation was a higher calling to action. The world is a lesser place without Jed. We are all worse off without him, and there are many stories similar to mine. Far too many. Money for research to prevent such things is needed, and this is the least I can do."
Here are some pictures of the donations:
If it looks like a lot, it's because it is a lot. You can see what each brewery, ciderworks, and bottle shop donated here.
If I may get on my soapbox for a moment (and I may, because it is my blog after all), when you give our local craft community your business, you are enabling them to give back to you through generous donations such as these. The craft community doesn't just ask you to support your local craft beer community - they support our local community right back. I've marveled before at how much our local beer scene gives back to our community. Truly, sometimes I wonder how they even have time to brew with all their community involvement!
When you buy local beer and cider either from the breweries or from locally-owned craft beer stores and bars, your dollars are saying and supporting so much. Right now, more than 96% of beer consumed in North Carolina is being made out of state. When you purchase beer produced in North Carolina or South Carolina, virtually all of that money stays in its respective state. It doesn't go to some faceless, macro beer company - it goes to the people you see in the breweries and bottle shops. It allows them to grow and employ more people from our communities. And as you can see from the above, it goes back to our community.