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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Uptown Women’s Shelter Throwing Virtual Beer Fest To Raise Funds For Homeless Services

Sarah's Circle is hoping the virtual Beer Fest raises $50,000 for its homeless shelter.

Beer Fest, a yearly fundraiser for Sarah's Circle, will take place virtually this year.
Colin Mohr courtesy Sarah’s Circle
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UPTOWN — This year’s Beer Fest fundraiser may not be as rowdy as previous versions, but Uptown women’s shelter Sarah’s Circle is hoping the community can still celebrate — virtually — for a good cause.

Sarah’s Circle, which serves women who are experiencing homelessness, will host its 12th annual Beer Fest 6-7 p.m. Thursday. The event is free to attend. To register, click here.

Previous versions of the fundraiser were held at lively establishments like Joe’s On Weed Street. But like most in-person events, this year’s Beer Fest has to be held virtually.

The event will still have live music, a silent auction and even a live auction event. There will also be a beer tie-in.

Logan Square’s Middle Brow Bungalow brewery is donating a portion of proceeds from sales of its Yard Work beer to Sarah’s Circle.

The fundraiser runs from now until the Thursday event. Yard Work can be purchased at Middle Brow, 2840 W. Armitage Ave., or Uvae Kitchen & Wine Bar, 5553 N. Clark St.

Uvae has also selected a special wine where proceeds of sales will be donated to Sarah’s Circle, according to the organization. The restaurant is offering delivery or in-store purchases of the beer and wine.

Funds raised from Beer Fest will help with operating costs for Sarah’s Circle’s interim housing program, the daytime center and permanent supportive housing programs, said Devon Ritter, president of Sarah’s Circle’s Associates Board.

Ritter said the beer and wine component will give the fundraiser the laid-back vibe it had in previous years.

“This is a have-fun, let-your-hair-down event that raises money for a good cause,” she said. “We want people to enjoy the spirit of Beer Fest from their home.”

READ: Sarah’s Circle Finally Getting Its New Home — Which Means More Housing For Women Experiencing Homelessness

Last year, more than 200 people attended Beer Fest and raised $50,000, helping the organization provide housing and other services to women struggling with homelessness, Ritter said.

Sarah’s Circle hopes to raise the same amount this year, but that goal is challenging during the realities of the coronavirus.

Tickets to theater and sporting events have been among the most popular raffle and auction items in past years. But with those entertainment options shut down during the pandemic, Sarah’s Circle had to get creative.

Auction items this year include a $750 gift card for Hyatt Hotel properties, a photography package courtesy of photographer Thomas Mohr, gift cards to Andersonville Cryotherapy & Athletic Recovery Center and even a sneak peak at Sarah’s Circle’s new housing center.

Sarah’s Circle is finishing work on its center at 4654 N. Sheridan Road, which will create 38 units of permanent affordable housing for women experiencing chronic homelessness and space for the organization’s 50-bed interim housing program.

“I’m so glad we can do this virtually because as hard as times are, it’s not time to give up on supporting women who need our help the most,” Ritter said.

For more information on Beer Fest, click here.

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