Beer taster at Marine Park Golf Course benefits the disabled

Beer taster at Marine Park Golf Course benefits the disabled
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It’s the yeast they could do!

Brooklynites turned out to taste some local brews at a fund-raiser on March 2 for the Guild for Exceptional Children, a group that supports local people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families

In addition to raising money, the social event helped connect the organization’s clients with others in the community, according to the group’s head.

“When people think of developmental disability, they don’t think of the person, they think of the disability,” said executive director Paul Cassone. “It was a chance to talk to our folks and help people see them as people.”

The seventh-annual beer tasting and buffet took place at the Marine Park Golf Course. Attendees paid for entry, and then were able to sample a plethora of beers provided by non-local and local breweries, including Sixpoint Brewery in Red Hook and Blue Point Brewing Company on Long Island. The brewers provided their beer as a way to show off their product and support the cause. All in all, the guild raised around $15,000, and more than 100 supporters came out.

“I was thrilled,” said Cassone, who was afraid the heavy snow and rain that day would keep people from showing up. “I was very pleased with the way it turned out.”

The Guild for Exceptional Children is a Bay Ridge group that supports the developmentally and intellectually disabled, and families raising disabled children, by providing vocational training, activities such as ceramics and gardening classes, therapy services, and more to their clients.

The beer, of course, was a big hit at the fund-raiser. Cassone said his favorite was the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down by Lagunitas — a bitter, malty ale.

“It has a little bit of the bitterness of an IPA, but it’s not very heavy,” he said. “It was exceptional.”

Supporting Brooklynites with intellectual and developmental disabilities is personal for much of the Guild for Exceptional Children’s leadership. Its director of recreational services said he got involved because his aunt has used their services for decades.

“She’s been going there for 40 years, and has made a lot of friends,” said Tommy Hoefel. “They’ve always gone above and beyond for her.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Beer up: Jen Herusso and Tommy Hoefel enjoy Sam Adams at the event.
Photo by Steve Solomonson