Move Over BBQers - It’s Beer Time! 2

First Annual Parker Brewfest will be Aug. 20 in O’Brien Park

The Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club of Parker is switching from barbecue to brew in its annual effort to raise money for local, national and international organizations.

The 10-year-old club and its 44 members decided it was time to adjust its fundraising efforts, says outgoing Club President Kevin Hausmann.

While club members enjoyed the Annual Smokin’ Brew BBQ, which was held in downtown Parker for the previous seven Labor Day weekends, it was a time-intensive project for which it was becoming hard to find a location where the event could continue to grow, he says.

“It was a great event for the Town of Parker,” he adds. “We’re all going to miss it.”

The club, which raises $40,000 to $50,000 through one major fundraising event each year, has switched to a brewfest in 2016 because of the popularity of craft brew in Colorado.

“A lot of people like to taste different types of beer, so we thought that it was a good thing to try,” Hausmann says, noting that the Great American Brew Festival in Denver sells out in less than half an hour each year.

Plus, Hausmann says, “we wanted to keep our fundraiser in Old Town Parker. That was important to us and to find a venue to get more people down here and take a look at what’s actually in downtown Parker for those that don’t know. That was really important.”

The club also wanted to include many Douglas County breweries, so there will be 25 breweries, including those from Parker, Castle Rock and Lone Tree, who will be serving two to three different beers during the event.

The event will be held on August 20 in O’Brien Park, 10795 Victorian Drive, in two sessions – from noon to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m. During each session, 1,000 attendees will be given a 2-ounce glass to roam the park and taste Colorado’s finest craft brew.

The cost per person per session is $35 in advance and $40 at the door. A $50 VIP ticket is also available.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will support the club’s charitable endeavors, which include national and international causes, plus a large number of Douglas County organizations.

In just the last year or so, the club has given a $10,000 donation to the new Parker branch of Douglas County Libraries and scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to six local seniors. It also initiated Peaceful Schools, an anti-bullying campaign for third graders at Frontier Valley Elementary School, a program the club hopes to expand to all Parker elementary schools.

Club members also work with the Douglas County Support Center in Parker to help youth that are “basically on their last leg to stay in high school. They’ve been removed from their high school for one reason or another.”  To contribute to the “amazing” program, Hausmann says, the club works with students on the Rotary’s Four-Way Test and conducts mock job interviews.

The club also partners with other Rotary clubs, including the Rotary Club of Parker, to support the Promise Ranch in Franktown, buying a mechanical lift to help veterans and disabled people get on horses; Project Sanctuary, contributing time and sponsorships for military families to attend retreats and receive support for two years; the Parker Task Force and the assistance it provides to residents in need and its backpack program; and the Crisis Center in Castle Rock.

It also hosts Trick or Treat on Mainstreet, which has grown from about 50 kids during its first year to about 10,000 participants last year, as well as a holding a breakfast for Parker firefighters and police officers on September 11 and honoring the Police Officer of the Year each May during National Police Week.

If you’d like more information about the club, visit CCVRotary.org.  To buy tickets or learn more about Parker Brewfest, visit ParkerBrewfest.com.