LARAMIE – Over two hundred people showed up to the Hospice of Laramie’s first “FeBREWary Fest” fundraising event last Saturday at the Laramie Plains Civic Center. Local restaurants and Laramie’s own Home Brew Club donated food and beverages for the event while local band Moral Panic provided music free of charge, reducing the cost of the fundraiser significantly.
The event was primarily focused on getting people together for a good time in order to raise awareness and funds for the Hospice of Laramie in Wyoming. While some of the attendees professed that they had little knowledge of the Hospice in Laramie before attending the event, many voiced their support of the organization, regardless of their involvement with the Hospice of Laramie in the past.
“I had no idea what the hospice was, but 25 dollars for all you can eat and drink is a good way to get the young crowd out. The young people who will really make a difference in the future,” said Erin from New York, a current student at the University of Wyoming.
Terri Longhurst, executive director for the Hospice of Laramie, commented on this notion, mentioning that the first step in spreading awareness is gaining public interest. Longhurst explained that the event sold 239 of its 264 tickets, making it a success in her mind.
“The event was such a hit, I think we will do it again next year,” said Longhurst.
Longhurst went on to explain that the event was very much aligned with the Hospice of Laramie’s mission.
“Although we care for the dying, we are in the business of living. I think you could really feel that at the event,” said Longhurst.
One of the biggest supporters of the event was the Laramie Home Brew club, which donated 19 kegs of home-made beers and ciders to the event. In an interview with Sam Foust, a long-time member and key figure in the Laramie Home Brew club, he mentioned a long-running relationship between the Hospice of Laramie and the Home Brew Club.
“Shannon [one of our oldest members] has a history with Terri Longhurst. They worked together on another event in the past, and somehow the idea just came up. It was a fun challenge, getting to make beer for this event. Most people don’t know that it isn’t legal to dispense home brews, whether it’s for money or not. Events like this are the exception since it’s a donation,” said Foust.
Foust voiced his opinion that the event would not have been such a success if so many different local organizations hadn’t come together both to reduce costs and cultivate a positive atmosphere. He believes that providing a cheap night out with food, beverages and live music drew a crowd that wouldn’t have attended the event had the amenities been different.
The Hospice of Laramie is a little known non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort and support to the dying and to the families of the dying. Their facilities, located in West Laramie, speak to this mission. The comfortable layout and friendly atmosphere are designed to provide the best personal, medical and spiritual support possible to those nearing the end of their journey. The organization also provides support to families of the dying, even after their loved one has moved on.
As a non-profit, the Hospice of Laramie relies heavily on funds generated out of their organization for support, which is why events like FeBREWary are so important. Although raising money for the Hospice of Laramie was the initial goal of the event, Longhurst explained that the event was a success in more than just a monetary manner.
“Everyone was having a good time. We love having Moral Panic; I actually don’t know if we are their groupie or if they are ours. [laughs] They have played events for us before, and it seems like they are always ready to come provide music for us. The vibe of the event was so positive and it really helped raise awareness about who we are and what we do,” said Longhurst.