When I started #beerclub I wasn’t sure what it would become. I had visions of trying a new beer each week, but the friendships forged over the virtual bar are what really make the club what it is. We’ve sampled beers from several breweries, been on brewery tours and been to a bunch of great beer bars. It’s been fun, but I’d like to take this club to a place we haven’t been before.
It’s time that #beerclub gave back to the community at large. Most of you in the Milwaukee area know Julie Larsen. She’s not much of a beer drinker, but she is a friend of #beerclub and she’s sat in on a few meetings. She’s putting together a huge fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network called PurpleStride Milwaukee.
PurpleStride is a two mile walk along our beautiful lakefront. Participants can make donations themselves, or get their friends and family to sponsor them.
Not only am I doing this walk because of Julie’s commitment, but I have a very personal connection to pancreatic cancer. My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July of 2006. I didn’t know much about that particular kind of cancer at the time but I did learn pretty quickly that it was one of the worst types of cancer out there.
We were lucky and his tumor was blocking his liver and he had symptoms far before most pancreatic cancer victims. It was caught early and he put up an amazing fight. He eventually succumbed and died in December of 2008.
Gary would have loved #beerclub even if he couldn’t partake. He was a member of AA for many years though the second A didn’t mean much to him personally. He was a very generous man who fought hard to help as many alcoholics as he could. He spent every Friday night that he could, going to detox in Minneapolis and talking to the inmates. He was always helping alcoholics and fighting alcoholism in any way he could.
Despite this alcoholic past and his personal crusade against alcoholism he was at peace with that part of his life. He loved going to the liquor store and seeing all the new flavors that were coming out. If the family was having a party or other get together he would be the one supplying the beverages. I will never forget him distributing drink tickets at our wedding. Lets just say that the bridal party had enough to drink that night and they had Gary to thank for it. As long as you were being responsible, Gary was glad to get you another drink.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a great organization helping people who really need it. They provide funding to research, offer assistance and answers to families who are struggling to come to grips with this awful disease, and probably most importantly they provide hope to patients.
This is why it’s so fitting that we’ve created a #beerclub team for the PurpleStride walk. Raising money for the fight against Pancreatic Cancer and combining it with beer is perfect.
I want to personally challenge everyone who can to join in and support this cause. The day of the walk promises to be fun and you’ll feel great knowing that your efforts will be helping people who really need it. We’ve created a #beerclub team and would love to have you join in.