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 game).
The second lighting 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… I know when the next Beer Breakfast will be. This helped us build the event with friends coming in from far off Buffalo, New Orleans & North Carolina 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 (100+ attendees each of the past 3 years) 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. For the past 3 years we have been honored to support 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.
While we continue our love and support for The Children’s Dream Fund, the incredibly tragic recent loss of three St. Petersburg police officers has given rise to an immediate need and show of support to fallen officer’s families both spiritually and economically. With the officers in our hearts and prayers we feel it our duty to lend our support by donating this years’ Beer Breakfast proceeds to their families.
This year when we bring hundreds of folks together to celebrate our 10th Annual Beer Breakfast we will lift our glasses in a setting of REVELRY-FELLOWSHIP-SANCTUARY and remember that all gave some, but some gave all and “but for the Grace of God there go I”.
Beer Breakfast isn’t just a party… it’s merriment with a mission.
Auction items, t-shirts, 50/50 raffle, monetary donations and a percentage of bar sales from our event location host, The Mandarin Hide (www.mandarinhide.com) will help us realize our goal.
Please join us for breakfast….. beer breakfast….. from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, March 26th. If you can’t make it… please buy a tee shirt or send a donation to Sun Coast Law Enforcement Charities.