Fernie Brewing Co. (FBC) has been operating their “Cheers to Charity!” donation program since December 2013. When they started, they had a simple mandate, which was to raise invaluable funds for local charities, clubs and organizations. Invaluable, local, and with the focus of benefitting a group rather than an individual, were perhaps the three fundamental features of the new program, and over two years later, still are.
For $5, visitors to the FBC Tasting Room can try four of the eight beers available on tap. With every cent taken going direct to the current recipient, Fernie Brewing Co. has raised over $20,000 since its inception.
Recipients rotate every six weeks, or three months, depending on the season. With the average donation being around $2,000, it means that donations are of a decent size, so can be put directly into a new project, event or, sometimes life changing measure.
Fernie Brewing Co.’s most recent recipient was the Fernie Family Housing Society (FFHS). After receiving a letter from the Society, one of many which FBC receives in a week, requesting donations, Fernie Brewing Co. immediately realized FFHS was a perfect “Cheers to Charity!” candidate.
From Oct.1 to Dec. 31, thanks to a large number of customers, $2,737 was raised and passed directly along to Sheila Sherburne, General Manager of the Fernie Family Housing Society.
“After I had sent out donation requests last year to many of the Elk Valley business, I was approached by Fernie Brewing Company and asked if Fernie Family Housing Society would like to be put on the list for the Tasting Room donation program. This donation will be added to our renovation account for Tom Uphill Manor. We are working towards repairing our very old dining room ceiling, as it has had some water damage over the years and is very outdated. So with money like this, we are one step closer to reaching our goal,” said Sherburne.
“Tom Uphill Manor is totally funded by rent revenues and by donations from the generous people of the Elk Valley, no government funding at all. So when asked by this generous business if they could help us in some way it was greatly appreciated.”
It is clear the residents of Tom Uphill Manor are beyond grateful. “When we receive assistance whether subtle or obvious, acknowledging that assistance is the largest part of saying thank you. Understanding the true importance of these words is vital. No one goes it alone,” said Sherburne, on behalf of the residents.
FBC’s newest “Cheers to Charity!” recipient until mid-February is The Fernie Museum.