Waaay back on May 3 we told you about Southport Brewing Company hooking up their “Help Line” taps at all 5 locations. The purpose of the “Help Line” that poured out “Sweet Emotion”? Raising money for The Jett Foundation’s Camp Promise East in Hamden, Connecticut. For each glass, SBC gave .50¢ that helped children and adults with muscular dystrophy get the chance to attend an awesome summer camp. The fundraiser is the brainchild of James Lacerenza, who has an official day named after him in Stamford for the awesome work that he does and to bring awareness to muscular dystrophy.
Well, we’re pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 24, SBC in Stamford will be presenting James with a check. How much you ask? Well, let’s just say that over 1,500 “Sweet Emotion” beers were sold. No, no, that wasn’t just us drinking all those beers. You can meet James and celebrate with him and SBC from 1-3 pm. Stop by and show your support.
While you’re there, ask for the “Help Line” tap. This time around, cancer survivors will benefit because each brew that is poured out between July and September means .50¢ towards the CT Challenge. SBC plans to continue these fundraisers throughout the year and also plans to work with James again to raise money for Camp Promise East!
We decided to bother James and ask him a few questions. Here’s about an hour of his time that we took away from his WWE watching and endless Facebook posting:
What will the funds raised by SBC mean to Camp Promise East?
I’ve worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1999, and I’ve raised over 100 thousand dollars for their camps since 2005. If what I saw at MDA’s camp in New York earlier this month was any indication of what the Jett Foundation’s own, separate camp for children and adults with muscular dystrophy will provide, then I can tell your readers that not only will the money raised sponsor one camper going to this week, it will mean inclusion, independence, and bonding with others who are going through the same life experiences and have a whole lot of fun.
How do you feel about the success of this fundraiser?
For our first year of doing this, and my first year of raising money for Camp Promise East and the Jett Foundation, I was genuinely shocked and touched that we were able to pull this off in such a short time frame and raise nearly $1,000. Next year, management at SBC and I both share in wanting to raise a higher total, but the real measure of success is me going to camp on August 1st when the people there will be having a Western themed day with adaptive activities related to being cowboys and cowgirls and a casino night that evening with poker and blackjack just for fun. To see the smiles on the campers faces is just as meaningful as any dollar figure we could produce.
What would you say to all the people who purchased a beer off the help line?
To SBC’s customers, I thank you, management thanks you, the Jett Foundation thanks you, and most importantly, the campers and their families thank you. You have provided them with the ability to participate in a special summer camp when realistically, it would otherwise be very difficult for these kids and adults to do everything camp offers in one specific location. There’s baseball, basketball, the kids get out of their wheelchairs and swim in the water. What people forget to realize is that muscular dystrophy is a group of some 40 plus genetic diseases that gradually rob those affected of their muscle function until they ultimately catch a minor cold and die – so to regenerate some of that strength in a pool alone is priceless.
Not to mention, at Jett’s camp, because there are teens and adults there who are living longer thanks to the public’s support of things like the MDA Telethon, we at Jett Camp are able to help their campers with job placement and relationship advice in a program we call “Transitions” – it’s the first of its kind in America.
Is there any other way for people to still help out?
People can still make pledges – just because MDA camp happened earlier this month and Jett camp is happening in two weeks, that doesn’t mean we don’t need their pledges – because we don’t charge the families of these campers at either place, we need money to cover not just their experiences, but all the supplies and food and the transportation and even the medical services should a camper get sick.
So I encourage people to think about their healthy children, and if they’re blessed enough to have healthy children, either come down to SBC in Stamford and see me this Tuesday, and we’ll take up a collection in a bucket like Jerry Lewis used to do on his telethons, or, if you can’t make it – go to my website http://www.mdactkids.org and give one dollar, five dollars, anything, to one or both camps. I don’t need people to pledge big amounts of money. I raise 20 thousand a year for these places because people give one dollar at a time.
***Branford 850 West Main Street Branford, CA 06405
W Main & Mathew Road Hamden 1950 Dixwell Ave
Hamden, CT 06460
Cross Streets: Dixwell & Weybosset Milford 33 New Haven Avenue
Milford, CT 06460
New Haven & Broad Southport 2600 Post Rd
Southport, CT 06890
Cross Streets: Post & Pequot Stamford 131 Summer St
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Cross Streets: Summer & Broad