How do a mechanic, pub owner, and mental health agency intertwine? When working towards a stronger, healthier community, every contribution—large or small—is vital. And when groups come together, everyone benefits. We can all learn from the unlikely partnership of Bron’s Automotive, Hops on the Hill, and Behavioral Health Resources (BHR). It’s a tribute to the caring and interconnected nature of small businesses and small business owners.

Brons Auto Hops on the Hill BHR fundraiser
Bron’s Auto and Hops on the Hill are partnering in tasty fundraiser to benefit Behavioral Health Resources. Photo courtesy: Behavioral Health Resources

Bron Lindgren has been involved with the BHR Foundation Board for about six years. They host events and activities raising money towards the BHR mission, which “supports and strengthens individuals, families and the community by promoting mental health and substance use disorder recovery.”

At a recent BHR fundraiser, Bron ran into Veg Kupiec, owner of Tumwater’s Hops on the Hill. At the BHR auction and dinner, Bron heard an idea introduced by Veg. “I got very excited as it was one of the most innovative ways of raising money I had ever heard of,” he says.

Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing had recently reached out to its beer-selling clients looking for ways to give back. “Ninkasi presented me with the opportunity to run a charity drive involving them,” explains Veg. “They were going give a donation to the charity I choose from each pint that we sold from Ninkasi on tap for the whole summer. I decided later that I wanted to make it bigger and give all the proceeds from the Ninkasi tap purchases. I came up with the idea to give local businesses like Bron’s an opportunity to donate money to me and I would use that money to buy the Ninkasi kegs to turn it into more money. Bron heard about what I was trying to do and that is when he approached me and wanted to financially support the charity drive.”

With this plan, kegs of Ninkasi beer—which originally go for $150 to $200 each—would be sold by the glass at pubs around the region with profits going to a specified charity. Bron and Veg each donated towards several at Hops on the Hill as did other local businesses. Veg estimates they’ll raise $600 to $700 for BHR from each keg of beer.

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Come raise a glass through September 4 to contribute to our county’s only inpatient home for mothers dealing with addiction and mental health issues. Photo courtesy: Hops on the Hill

This summer-long promotion is $6,000 into their $10,000 goal with only a month left to go. On September 4, 2019 there will be an end of season party at Hops on the Hill with beer and prizes galore. If you or someone you know is interested in donating, simply reach out to Veg by calling 360-915-8780.

“BHR is the largest provider of community mental health services in Thurston, Mason and Grays Harbor counties,” explains Karin Wagar, associate director of the Foundation and administration. “BHR’s Harvest program for pregnant and parenting women struggling with mental health issues and substance use disorder is the beneficiary of Hops on the Hill’s first annual community fundraiser. All proceeds go to support both our inpatient and outpatient program. This fundraiser has helped us raise awareness for our cause while our community friends enjoy a glass of good beer responsibly.”

The program is very important. “BHR has offered its outpatient program for almost 30 years with great success,” says Wagar. “In 2018, 9 out of 10 babies born to women in the program came into the world free of any substance. The program provides women the opportunities to recognize the impact their addiction has on their children and family and teach them how to parent more consistently, considerately and compassionately.  We believe the ripple effect of these services will be seen in many generations to come.”

Brons Auto Hops on the Hill BHR charity
Bron’s Auto purchased specially marked kegs at Hops on the Hill which will be sold by the glass with all profits going to Harvest Home. Photo courtesy: Dan Jones

Programming takes place through classes, individual and group sessions, and self-help meetings. In 2018, BHR served 156 women in Thurston and 68 women in Mason County. Harvest Home opened in January 2019. It’s currently the only inpatient facility of its kind in Thurston or Mason County.

There have already been three program graduates and both babies born to women in the program have been born substance free. “Thank you for saving lives, for deeply caring in your souls to better us and to give us a wonderful opportunity to grow,” one graduate writes. “For the healthy happiness and safety you have provided for us. For the structure and accountability. For opening your hearts to share your gifts of understanding and knowledge. Because of you I can once again take a breath and you truly saved my life! I am eternally grateful for you all.”

Simply by enjoying a cold beer at Hops on the Hill, “and the best beef brisket around, you can quote me on that!” laughs Bron, you’re helping mothers and children live strong, healthy lives. But it’s exactly the type of contribution that makes the world better. ““I told my wife upon returning home that ‘I was having a beer for the kids,’” he adds.

“Partnering with community organizations and local businesses helps us spread our message that mental illness and substance use disorder are treatable and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness,” says Wagar.

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Bron Lindgren of Bron’s Automotive invites you to have a beer for the kids with the Hops on the Hill fundraiser. Photo courtesy: Bron Lindgren

So go, raise a glass, and do your part. Or consider donating directly to BHR. Wagar and her team always appreciate cash donations. “Cash donations help us fund incentives to women for participating in groups, such as gift cards or services,” explains Wagar, “games and ‘clean and sober’ activities, therapeutic books/games for sessions or for clients to keep, craft supplies for the children, 12-step materials, field trips for residents and their children to places such as the Hands on Children’s Museum, bus passes, or gas vouchers to get to treatment.”

At the end of the summer party, Ninkasi will be giving away a big prize to a customer that has been to all three summer drive events.

And if your check engine light flickers on en route to the pub, make an appointment at Bron’s Automotive for a quick diagnostic. They’re open Monday through Friday at 1025 Black Lake Boulevard SW.


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