Craft Beer Festival Raises Thousands for Veterans
Valemount, B.C. – Communities for Veterans – a Quesnel based organization focused on raising awareness of contemporary veterans and assisting them shift back into civilian life – is $12,500 richer.
This after Michael Lewis, owner-brewer with Three Ranges Brewing Company Ltd. in Valemount, cut a cheque this week for the organization.
The proceeds flowed from last month’s successful Valemount Craft Beer Experience. Lewis concedes the first annual event far exceeded his expectations.
“Well beyond my expectations. It was quite amazing. Fifty per cent went to Communities for Veterans, then we split the other 50 per cent between our two other charities: The Royal Canadian Legion in Valemount and the Valemount Arts and Cultural Society.”
Lewis – a veteran from the United States who served in Macedonia, Kosovo, and Iraq – says he chose to give the bulk of the money to Communities for Veterans after developing a friendship with co-owner Paul Nichols.
“I developed a friendship based upon his program and his service and my service in the military,” he says. “His program is important because as a veteran myself who suffered a few of my own issues I understand what he brings to the table for guys who are in a lot more serious condition than I am.”
Communities for Veterans offers a therapeutic rider program known as Equine Assisted Mindfulness. The program is designed not only to help veterans reintegrate into society but also helps people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lewis says he’s so pleased with this year’s event preparations are already underway for next year. He says tickets will likely go on sale next February.