GREENFIELD – Carl Denny eyed the handful of tickets left for Hops for Hope and smiled.
With just a few days left to draw beer-lovers to Saturday’s fundraiser benefiting the Hancock Hope House, the shelter’s executive director was feeling good.
500 tickets printed. 20 left.
The fundraiser, now in its fourth year, is the biggest moneymaker all year for the Hope House, the county’s lone homeless shelter.
Story continues below gallery
The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Exhibit Hall at the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 620 N. Apple St.
Inside the hall, 12 area breweries, including Greenfield’s Wooden Bear Brewing Co. and McCordsville’s Scarlet Lane Brewing Co., serve up samples of their liquid wares. For a $40 ticket, attendees are given a small glass and chance to sample anything they like.
The event’s success likely can be credited to the wildly popular and booming craft beer industry, organizers said.
“The whole craft beer industry is going gangbusters. We thought about selling tea and lemonade but nobody would show up,” Denny joked.
Other breweries represented are the Hoosier Brewing Co. from Fairland; Quaff On! Brewing Co. out of Bloomington; Evansville’s Carson’s Brewery; and Indianapolis brewers, Two Deep Brewing Co; Tow Yard Brewing Co. and Metazoa Brewing Co.
Organizers said they’re committed to making sure the samples are varied; they pay travel expenses for breweries to set up shop at the event.
“It’s a win-win situation for the breweries,” Denny said. “We give them an opportunity to brand their breweries.”
Another feature that places Hops for Hope above other craft beer fundraisers is the food, organizers say. Diane Parker, of Park Place Catering, creates all the hors d’oeuvres and offers a spread that uniquely pairs the variety of appetizers to specific brews. Waiters walk around serving patrons throughout the hall. Attendees have a chance to stroll around the hall, ask questions and learn about the craftsmanship of the brewing process.
In addition to beer and appetizers, a DJ will be on the scene, playing pop and dance music.
The event, Denny said, is less about drinking beer and more about fellowship. The 500 people gather to talk about Hope House, its mission and the community.
Denny shares first-hand knowledge of the people the Hope House serves, how they depend on the public’s generosity to restart their lives after falling on hard times.
Women with children is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, he said.
Some of the causes of homelessness include the death of a family support person, mental illness, the loss of a job or drug use.
Denny stresses that a requirement for staying at the Hope House is employment. Hope House can provide food, shelter and clothing, but the focus is on self-sufficiency, he says.
It’s the kind of cause Kurt Vetters of Greenfield says he’s proud to get behind. Vetters attended Hops for Hope in 2014 and 2015.
There, he saw familiar faces and new ones.
“I love the mix of the community that shows up for this,” Vetters said.
Vetters speaks highly of Denny’s work in the community.
Their efforts are worthy of residents’ support, he said.
“Hancock Hope House and numerous others spread a safety net over this community. Carl Denny is the poster child for what an executive director of a charitable organization should be,” Vetters said.
If you are unable to attend, you can still support Hancock Hope House with a tax-deductible donation. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Hops for Hope, a Hancock Hope House craft beer sampling fundraiser
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Exhibit Hall at the Hancock County Fairgrounds, 620 N. Apple St.
Info: Tickets are $40 per person, $350 for a table for 10 and $10 for a designated driver. Tickets available at hops4hope.net.