By Paul Miller
Marketing Director / Hop Hedz Official Gear
Hop Hedz Gear is so excited for an upcoming event that really means the world to us, Bacon, Brews, and BBQ Too. The event takes place Sunday, Oct. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Abbey Bar at the Appalachian Brewing Company on Cameron St. in Harrisburg.
This year's event continues the tradition of letting the creative juices flow from some very talented local homebrewers and chefs. You will be able to sample a HUGE variety of beer, bacon, and barbeque dishes! The best part about this event is that the attendees get to vote on their favorite beer and food dish and ALL of the proceeds benefit our friends at Elliott's CP Journey. Lisa Oreo, the mother of Elliott, talked to the Hop Hedz staff and shared with us some information about the mission of the organization:
“Elliott is my son, age 9. Elliott was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which limits his motor function and causes severe cognitive delays. Elliott is 100% dependent on his caregivers for support between moving, bathing, bathroom, feeding, and transportation. Typical day’s challenges include mobility dependence whether moving Elliott throughout the home or into the community. Elliott is primarily transported in his wheelchair which requires a special adapted vehicle with either a lift or ramp system and a lowered floor. Vans modifications currently on the market range from $15,000 - $30,000. Although a local family had donated us a used van for temporary use, it has needed over $5000 in repairs (using the funds already raised) and the transmission will need to be repaired soon.
Also, Elliott cannot support himself, he has to be moved either by physically lifting him from his bed to his wheelchair or to therapy equipment. As Elliott gets taller and heavier, physically caring for him will require additional modifications to be done to the home. Potential home modifications we'll need to be able to care for Elliott safely are a ceiling track lift system (using a lift system and sling this will allow us to safely move Elliott from room to room without physically carrying his weight), widened doorways for wheelchair access, outside ramps to the house entryway, and a modified bathroom with a roll in shower/tub system to safely bathe Elliott. Despite applying for grants geared towards these accessibility needs we have been unable to secure grant funding as the need across the United States are very much needed by many other families in our situation. So like many other families, we have taken matters into our own hands, reaching out to family, friends, and the community for support.”
Every year the family hosts this fundraiser to chip away at the overall goal towards Elliott's accessibility needs. Bacon and Beer are just two things that go together naturally and through the idea of a friend of the family, the Bacon and Brew event was created as a fun way to get friends, family, and the community involved in something bigger than themselves. The event itself has successfully raised over $10,000 over the past three years. We have also done online fundraising and Hop Hedz Owner Bart Kaminski has hosted the Craft Kegs and Eggs in support of Elliott in the spring, together raising an additional $2,000 over the past two years.
Hop Hedz Gear loves to do anything we can to support the community, but this is one organization that we implore you to assist us in supporting. Elliott means so much to us, and we hope that you’ll consider having a few amazing homebrews and excellent food to help support our friends at Elliott’s CP Journey.
Lisa noted, “Elliott's favorite character is Elmo who says "slow and steady wins the race". We hold that mantra close to heart in our goal of someday giving Elliott and his caregivers the accessibility we need to safely care for him, getting closer with each event.”
Tickets are available for the event at Eventbrite
Tickets are also available at the door for $25 for beer and food or $10 for a Designated Driver.
You can also watch our fundraising efforts to date on our GoFundMe Page: https://www.gofundme.com/elliotttran