RAR Brewing, DCA raise funds for LLS

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CAMBRIDGE — Art and craft beer came together Friday, May 10, to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore during the Art of Craft Beer event at the Dorchester Center for the Arts.

The culmination was a display of vibrant, cohesive artworks created in four mediums by RAR Brewing artist BJ Wheatley, woodcarver Brian Wozny, and photographer Jameson Harrington, who collaborated to create exhibits that complimented the brewery’s original beer can art.

Wheatley, along with 12 other candidates, five men and eight women, will spend the next ten weeks intensively fundraising for LLS blood cancer research efforts in hopes of being the seventh Man or Woman of the Year. Each candidate is backed by a team of family and friends to help them host fundraising events, and several teams are returning with a few years already under their belts.

Wheatley represents Team Brewing up a Cure.

Guests at the May 10 event were invited to bid on the artworks and taste six of the evening’s featured beers: Pulpsicle, Lumber Sexual, Marylan, Off the Rook, Hyde and Nanticoke Nectar — each of which had its own unique label design on display.

The pop-up exhibit was the brainchild of Stephyn Butcher, program chairman and DCA board member, who said he had long wanted to work with RAR after seeing the company’s “really neat labels.”

He dreamt up an idea called “The Art of Craft Beer,” not knowing when or how the event would eventually come to life. And, after months of planning and artistic creation on behalf of RAR and DCA members, the exhibit was born.

Butcher called the event a success and said it attracted more than 100 guests and raised nearly $10,000 to benefit both the DCA and the LLS.

The pop-up exhibit also served to attract a “younger audience” and bring awareness to the local programs the DCA offers for artists at all experience levels.

During the event, Butcher joked about RAR artist BJ Wheatley’s participation in such programs there, calling him a DCA alumnus, and pointing out how his creative growth has come full circle — from being a student to becoming a featured artist in the building where he learned the ropes.

Wheatley then took the mic to urge attendees to “drink as much beer as possible and spend money,” and to praise the event organizers, saying “I did not think this was going to happen, but now there’s art on the walls.”

The RAR artist has a personal connection to LLS and has helped raise thousands of dollars for the organization throughout the years with events like The Art of Craft Beer and through his participation in the annual Man and Woman of the Year campaign, which benefits the same cause.

Butcher said he was “pleased to co-host this memorable event” and would love for it to become an annual affair if he can get the others on board.

Event sponsors included the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Choptank Communications, Hoopers Island and Midshore Graphics.

The official start of the seventh annual Man and Women of the Year campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore kicked off at Harris Crab House in Grasonville Thursday, March 28.

Joining Wheatley are Rachel Hines representing seventh generation Team Capel Strong 2.0, Joe Bunce representing fifth generation Team Crushin’ Orange, Trish Bucci representing fifth generation Team It’s A Cure Thing, Kennedy Thomason representing fourth generation Team Crafting for a Cure and Faith Mills representing first generation group Team Against All Odds.

Jennifer Walczak represents Team Johns Flock, Amanda Kettering represents Team Invisible Rockstars, Carrie O’Connell represents Team O+ Crew, Kat Crowell Gunby, Robert Chandler, Jeremiah Burns, and Eric Clough.

The connection of blood helped the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore surpass a milestone last June, by raising $507,261 for the sixth annual Man and Woman of the Year campaign. Kathy Bunce-Cooper, of Church Hill, took home the Woman of the Year crown by raising $119,469 with fourth generation Team Crushin’ Orange.

Chestertown resident Parker Welch of the Maryland Farm Bureau earned the Man of the Year crown by raising $83,259 with the fourth-generation Team It’s a Cure Thing.

The Maryland Chapter as a whole, raised more than $3.6 million in 2018. This contributes to an active researcher at the University of Maryland Medical Center, who got awarded an extension to their research grant.

The campaign will culminate with the Grand Finale Gala, to be held once again at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge on Saturday, June 8.

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