Take a favorite activity (reading), combine it with a favorite beverage (a local microbrew), top it with a good cause (a literacy program for children) and you’ve got an irresistible combination.
Now throw in a trivia quiz, a raffle, and the company of good people and you’ve got the recipe for some serious fun.
All of that is what drew Lori and me out to a Northeast Portland brewpub last night.
On a pleasant summer evening, we joined a crowd of people attending a fundraiser for First Book Portland, a nonprofit that provides new books to low-income children.
We were invited to the Breweries for Books event by Casey Jones and his wife Sarah, a young couple we met a couple years ago at a summer party hosted by longtime friends. Casey is a member of the advisory board that raises money to provide book grants to existing community programs (such as Head Start) serving children from low-income families.
First Book is a national organization and the Portland chapter was founded in 1998.
Casey knows of my fondness for books. In fact, he paid me a visit when I held my own used book sale last month to raise money for a similar cause. I didn’t hesitate to return the favor when he invited me to the First Book event at Migration Brewing Co.
Also joining us last night: Casey’s sister, Sarah (yes, another Sarah), our daughter Simone and daughter-in-law Kyndall.
Together we named ourselves the Dream Team and took on four other teams in a literacy-and-beer themed trivia quiz. Above the din of conversation, we fielded questions about literature, sports, science, beer, pop culture and other topics. I thought we’d be shouting out answers but the format was different — and better. After each question, team members had the opportunity to talk among themselves before committing to a single, written answer.
After four rounds, scores were tallied and, guess what, the Dream Team took first place. We promptly donated our prize — 50 percent of the trivia contest entry fees — back to the organization. The winner of the raffle did the same. Migration Brewing donated 10 percent of the evening’s profits. And Kate Berube, a local children’s author and illustrator, did the same from her book sales
I guess you’d call that a win-win-win-win situation. All for the benefit of young readers.
Want to know more about First Book and help out, too?
Read more: firstbookportland.org
Save the date: October 26 for the fifth annual Wine-ing for Literacy event, a wine tasting and silent auction at Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 S.E. Washington St.