Going into its 5th year, Red, Wine, and Brew has been the go-to Independence Day party. Presented by Bethany Church, with help from Unity Foundation of La Porte, the event features live music, beer, wine, and liquor tastings, plus a fireworks show over Stone Lake Beach. The event was created to give back to local first responders, and in the spirit of Christmas, Centier Bank decided to jump in on the fun with a donation of $10,000 to help fund the event in the coming year.
Mike Bober, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at Centier Bank in La Porte, said he knew Centier Bank wanted to lend support to such an important community effort, especially since the bank is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020. After meeting with Jeff Johnson, Carey Garwood, and Pastor Dennis of Bethany Church to discuss the festival.
“Whether it’s a natural disaster or a fire, or if you’re hurt and need an ambulance, first responders are the people who are risking their lives day in and day out to come and help and protect and serve the communities we live in. We want to show our gratitude and appreciation for their sacrifices,” Bober said. “The Red, Wine, and Brew fest is something that we want to be support from a financial as well as a volunteer standpoint. Centier Bank is honored to help organize and execute such an important event.”
Red, Wine, and Brew started as an appreciation and fundraiser for local police, sheriff, fire, and EMS departments and has since added the Department of Natural Resources to help preserve the waterfront. According to Carey Garwood, Outreach Director at Bethany Church, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event are divided equally among the departments and have been used to fund extra training, K9 units, updated equipment, among other facets that aren’t budgeted for.
“Through this fundraiser, our first responders are able to do even more to keep our community safe, which is what matters to us the most,” Garwood said. “We are excited to have a new community partner in Centier Bank.”
Unity Foundation of La Porte has given over $20 million in grants back to the La Porte community. As a partner with Bethany Church, Unity Foundation is always looking for ways to help them raise money for events they organize. President of Unity Foundation of La Porte, Maggie Spartz, simply wants the community to know how important it is to respect our first responders.
“There’s never enough money for public entities and so forth. It’s not enough to just pay our first responders, we do events like this to give them the ability to get the best equipment or replace some of their old equipment or do whatever they need,” Spartz said. “I love doing anything we can to help these wonderful people continue to do their jobs, it feels good.”
La Porte Fire Chief, Andy Snyder, has put the funds the fire department has received from Red, Wine, and Brew to good use over the past four years. From training drug prevention and reaction techniques to a new cadet program to training a scuba team, Red, Wine, and Brew made it all possible.
“It’s been awesome to be a part of Red, Wine, and Brew and a recipient of the funds since it started. It’s a really neat program and it’s helped us in a lot of avenues that we wouldn’t have had the funds readily available for otherwise,” Snyder said. “Sometimes we’re not always appreciated, but things like this come to the forefront and show us how we are appreciated and thought about.”
The annual Red, Wine, and Brew will be held July 3, 2020 at Stone Lake Beach. Find out more at https://www.redwineandbrewlaporte.com/!