Indy High Bines Teams with Others to Raise Funds for Suicide Prevention and for Survivor Loss Support

Indy High Bines Teams with Others to Raise Funds for Suicide Prevention and for Survivor Loss Support

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

It’s nice when charity projects celebrate people overcoming a challenge, like the National Association for Down Syndrome that raises money to get children and adults opportunities and to help them mainstream their lives. Other fundraisers let us feel good about ourselves by helping to fund research for diseases that rob people of quality and quantity of life.

But there are also fundraisers that don’t celebrate things; they aim to reduce tragedies and to shine a light on very bad situations. Horrible things happen, and even though it isn’t fun or uplifting, some things need to be done even if they aren’t fun or exciting. They need to be acknowledged and fought even if they’re painful.

image credit: Indy High Bines

That’s the case for a coming beer release and charity event on November 21st put together by Indy High Bines Hop Farm. Co-owner KC Lewis’ family lost a nephew to suicide last year, and now they have organized a charity beer and event in his honor and to help the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Called #TeamChad, Indy High Bines donated the hops for this beer, and Sugar Creek Malt Co. donated the grains. The beer is being brewed through the generosity of Cedar Creek Brewing in Martinsville, and the charity release will take place at their location. KC said that Chad “was a lover of great beer,” and this American Pale Ale would have been right up his alley.

image credit: Indy High Bines

November 21st is an appropriate day for the event, since that is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Congress designated this day as a time “when the friends and family of those who have died by suicide can join together for healing and support.” Each year, the Saturday before Thanksgiving has been set aside for this day of remembrance. More poignant, the 21st is just a couple days before the anniversary of the family’s loss of Chad.

The event (see here for event page), will have the beer release, an auction/raffle, and a celebration of Chad’s life. There will be a large tent for the event, and heaters will be on hand if the day is chilly. A portion of the proceeds from beer sales, as well as all the money from the auction/raffle, will be donated to AFSP, whose mission is to “save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.” They “fund research to improve interventions, train clinicians in suicide prevention, and advocate for policy that will save lives.”

This is always a needed and worthy effort, whether it be to help those left behind by suicide or to prevent future losses. However, it’s even more crucial now with suicide rates increasing during the pandemic. The work of this foundation and the people who support it touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, including many in Indiana.

Make your way to Cedar Creek Brewing for the #TeamChad release on the 21st of November. image credit: Drink at the Creek

The Indiana craft beer community is no stranger to the pain of suicide, and as witnessed by the Indy High Bines effort, they do something about it. David Michael of Ruhe Brewing Company in Nappanee started the Hoosier Buddy Project in 2019 to support AFSP and bring awareness to the tragedy of suicide. An ongoing program of events, Hoosier Buddy last year organized several suicide prevention workshops that were held for breweries and brewery staff. See here for an article about this effort.

There’s nothing easy about bringing this issue to light, and there is no way that a brewery or beer related company is doing this just to generate sales or profits. This is truly an effort of goodwill and reflects their devotion to the community. Indiana beer cares and acts, even when times are tough – especially when times are tough. Make plans to visit Cedar Creek Brew Co. on Nov. 21st for the #TeamChad event and release. As the entire Lewis family whole family expressed, “Come out to help us celebrate our favorite guy and our efforts to help others.”

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