My name is Jared Repka. After living on Clearwater Beach for several years I moved to the big city… actually, the Old Northeast Section of St. Petersburg in 2001. Early one Saturday morning in 2002 I was running errands along Central Avenue in Downtown St. Pete when something stopped me cold in my tracks… there were people actually sitting at a bar at 8am drinking beer. My initial horror was soon replaced with, “Why aren’t I drinking beer at 8am on a Saturday morning?” and then a better more gracious thought crept into this former Catholic Schoolboy’s brain… “Why don’t I invite some friends to drink beer WITH me next Saturday morning?”
And so it began… Beer Breakfast started out as a lark on a rainy Saturday morning… just an excuse to start drinking beer with a few friends a bit earlier than normal. The head count grew slowly at first, since most people (including my own brother and business partner, yeah, thanks, Dave) thought I was some kind of “social deviant” for getting people together to drink beer, eat donuts and play Jenga on a perfectly good Saturday morning (especially a Saturday with no college football games).
The second lightning bolt to strike was when I matched up Beer Breakfast with a really cool local sporting event, The St. Petersburg Grand Prix. This anchored our event to the St. Pete Community and to a specific date on the calendar. As soon as the Indy Racing League announces the date of the race… we know when the next Beer Breakfast will be. This helped us build the event with friends coming in from all across the country to partake. It was the once a year event bringing family and friends together without the drama and sniping of the typical family reunion or having to relive the humiliation and degradation of high school dodgeball with the Class of ’87.
As we grew in numbers (300+ attendees at BB 2016 baby!!) I though that this is a great event, but wouldn’t it also be a cool way to support local charities? Since I was already printing up funky collectible tee shirts for each event… I got the bright idea to sell the tee shirts and donate the money to a handpicked local charity. From 2008-2010 we supported The Children’s Dream Fund (www.childrensdreamfund.org) with all the gracious proceeds raised to help kids with a life-threatening illness fulfill a dream. In 2011 and 2012 we honored and supported St. Pete’s fallen officers’ families through Suncoast Law Enforcement Charities. At our second 2012 event we supported Sun Coast Hospice and the wonderful work they do in our community. In 2013 our attention was focused on the Florida West Ballet and their dedication to the arts for youth in our area. In 2014 and 2015 we brought attention to Tampa Bay Watch and all they do for the health and well being of our local Tampa Bay and estuaries. And in 2016 we help out Florida West Ballet again as they really needed new costumes and a few scholarships to help some local kids experience the arts.
Beer Breakfast Events have raised over $35,000 for local St. Pete charities since 2008! Help me spread the word and let’s have a Beer Breakfast Event in your town! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about it!
As we grow Beer Breakfast from our humble beginnings in 2002 with only 5 attendees, we now regularly bring hundreds of folks together to celebrate at Beer Breakfast Events and provide community support to local charities. A Beer Breakfast gathering is a place to be yourself, have some fun and DO GOOD in your community. Please help me grow it and we can make a difference as we lift our glasses in a setting of REVELRY-FELLOWSHIP-SANCTUARY.
Beer Breakfast isn’t just a party… it’s merriment with a mission.
Please join us for our next wonderful event on Saturday, March 11, 2017.