By MEGHAN McCOY, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral will host a Foreign Beer Fest today to help raise money for the backpack program they sponsor for Lee County students. Foundation President Sam Huber began the food program two years ago in his living room because, after touring a school, he was amazed at how many hungry children there were in Lee County. The program, which began with only 25 backpacks, expanded once again to assist 1,000 students at eight schools in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers. The backpacks are filled to the brim with seven pounds of food that costs $4.75 per child, including the cost of the gas to deliver it to the school every week. The backpack program currently spends $3,500 to $4,000 a week on up to 5,000 pounds of food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Between 15 and 20 volunteers gather every Thursday to stuff backpacks for the children to bring home for the weekend. One hundred percent of the money raised from the Foreign Beer Fest, Huber said, will go towards the program. It will provide him with the ability to purchase food for the rest of the school year. CRA Economic Development Manager Helen Ramey said they are pleased that the Kiwanis Club has taken on the event to support the South Cape dinning and entertainment district. The event will feature 15 restaurants which will compete for the title of “Best Foreign Beer” from 7-11 p.m. Saturday night. Trolleys will take participants to the restaurants and taverns which are participating for a sample of foreign beer and appetizers. The locations include La Terraza 47, Wine & Roses Restaurant, Paradise Tiki Hut, Chicago Pizza, Royal Key, Ralph’s Place, Bahama Mammas, Rack’Em Billards, Monkey Bar & Steakhouse, Leapin Lizard, Cruiser’s Lounge, Cape Dog & Deli, Back Streets, Sal’s Pizza and Steamer’s Sports Shack. Huber said while the participants are visiting the locations, they can select their favorite three. At the end of the night, they will turn in their ballots in one of the collection boxes on the trolley. The top three public choice awards will be given a $500, $300 an $100 prize and a banner to display throughout the year. Celebrity judges also will nominate three locations, which also will be awarded a $500, $300 and $100 prize to a restaurant. Tickets for the event are $15. Huber said so far they have sold 500 tickets for the event. The capacity for the event is 1,500, but he said they consider 1,000 people a good draw. “It is a wonderful way to discover all the entertainment and dining for a dollar a stop,” Ramey said. She said tickets will be available until 5 p.m. today at the 15 participating locations. Any unsold tickets will be available at the check-in booths at Big John Plaza and Leapin Lizard at 6:30 p.m. “Don’t worry if you don’t have a ticket,” she said. “There are plenty of tickets available.” Individuals must check in at one of the two locations so they can obtain their wrist band and passport that will give them access to all of the locations. “I would encourage people who are not beer drinkers to come on down and support the Kiwanis Club and make a donation,” Huber said. The Kiwanis Club will have two trolleys running until 1 a.m. for those who wish to stay after the event ends. “If you are having a wonderful time, feel free to linger,” Ramey said. For information call Huber at (239) 471-9956 or visit www.mycapecoralkiwanis.org.