Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 10:36 pm

CASI to fundraise with its own Great River beer

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By Leon Lagerstam,

DAVENPORT -- Say cheers to a new fundraising idea.

The Center for Active Seniors Inc. has partnered with Great River Brewery in Davenport to create a new beer dedicated to raising money for seniors and senior services.

"We were trying to find a fun and different way to make money, and we are big fans of Great River Brewery, so we thought how cool it would be to have a beer that would generate proceeds back to our organization," CASI marketing coordinator Sarah Arp said.

Great River agreed and has produced "Owney Irish Red Ale,'' which will go on sale the week of Feb. 11 in four-packs of 16-ounce cans at local stores and on tap at area bars, she said.

A formal "Golden Keg" tapping is planned for 1 p.m. March 9, at 332 E. 2nd St., Davenport. Food from the Fountains Senior Living Community of Bettendorf and entertainment, including a band, will be provided at 2 p.m.

The ale also will be the featured drink at the after-race party at CASI's 31st annual St. Patrick Day's Race March 16, Ms. Arp said.

CASI president/CEO Tom Bahls came up with the idea for the ale's name. "Owney" is an old Irish name for "elderly," according to a news release.

CASI is a multi-service nationally accredited senior center that provides a variety of social, educational, support and wellness programs and activities for adults 60 and older and their families/caregivers.

"We have about 1,800 members, but you don't have to be a member to use the center," Ms. Arp said."We also have Jane's Place, an adult day center. Since we advocate for all seniors, it's hard to say exactly how many lives we touch."

Government funding to non-profit organizations providing human services has been in steady decline since 2009, forcing agencies to seek new types of funding, according to the release.

"So how neat is it to see a beer made for a nonprofit agency, and make it available locally in the same area we serve?" Ms. Arp asked.