Giving Brewsday Brews Interest

(The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain hosted “Giving Brewsday” on November 28 at Alvarium Beer Company in New Britain as its way of celebrating #GivingTuesday. The event introduced young professionals and other members of the community to the work of the Community Foundation and the importance of giving back. The following story appeared in The New Britain Herald on Wednesday, November 29.)

Community Foundation Event Brews Interest

By Skyler Frazer
New Britain Herald

NEW BRITAIN – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain hosted a “Giving Brewsday” Tuesday evening at the Alvarium Beer Co., hoping to introduce young professionals to the foundation.

For a few hours, business owners, city officials, residents and members of the foundation had a

Giselle Ziegler and Ryan Kundsen of Southington were among the dozens of young professionals to attend Giving Brewsday. "We are always looking for ways to get involved in our community and this seemed like a great event where we could learn more," said Giselle.

Giselle Ziegler and Ryan Kundsen of Southington were among the dozens of young professionals to attend Giving Brewsday. “We are always looking for ways to get involved in our community and this seemed like a great event where we could learn more,” said Giselle.

chance to network over Alvarium’s craft beer and hot kielbasa dogs, courtesy of Bugnacki’s Specialty Meats.

“One of the missions of the foundation is inspiring philanthropy, and so I think doing it in a setting that communicates to young people is important,” said David Obedzinski, president and CEO of the foundation.

Obedzinski took over for Jim Williamson in August. Shortly afterward, Obedzinski told The Herald he wanted to grow the foundation’s connections to young entrepreneurs in the area.

Outreach such as Tuesday’s event at Alvarium is a good way to get young people connected to community service, Obedzinski said.

“I’ve been here before and the food is great, the beer is great and it’s an awesome atmosphere so I knew we would be able to get people in the door,” said the foundation’s Kaylah Smith, who spearheaded Tuesday’s event.

Smith, who recently became the foundation’s assistant director of development, said the

From left to right, the United Way's Patrick Doyle and Community Mental Health Affiliates' Heather Paluso, Amy Ogle and Sue Spitz were among the nearly 100 attendees at the Community Foundation's Giving Brewsday event at Alvarium Beer Company on November 28.

From left to right, the United Way’s Patrick Doyle and Community Mental Health Affiliates’ Heather Paluso, Amy Ogle and Sue Spitz were among the nearly 100 attendees at the Community Foundation’s Giving Brewsday event at Alvarium Beer Company on November 28.

organization began planning Giving Brewsday just three weeks ago. The foundation publicized the event on Facebook rather than other outlets and let word of mouth do the rest.

“I said let’s just try and make it organic – because if your friend goes then you go, and if your friend gives then maybe you’ll give, and if your friend volunteers, then maybe you’ll volunteer,” Smith said.

Representatives of the YMCA, YWCA, Community Mental Health Affiliates and many other organizations were on hand to network and discuss future action in the city.

“The foundation has done a lot for us, so I’m here just to show support for what they do,” said Joey Listro, executive director of New Britain ROOTS, a nonprofit that focuses on nutrition.

Guests at Tuesday’s event could demonstrate philanthropy themselves and donate money to one of the foundation’s many funds -including its Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund – and take a picture with a large mock check at the “#unselfie” station.

“David has already come up to tell me, ‘This is an annual event,’ ” the 27-year-old Smith said of Obedzinski. “I don’t think he expected this type of turnout.”