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Beer Festival Helps Hungry Kids

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield kids are getting a helping hand thanks to the McKenzie Cider and Craft Beer Festival.

There’s something for everyone.

“My daughter and my wife, they like the cider. My son and I, we like the beers,” said Robert Reyna, a Eugene resident.

“I’m definitely more of a beer person. I like my IPAs. I like hoppy beers,” said Erin Culley, a Corvallis resident.

After spending some time taste testing, many festival-goers were able to find something they liked.

“It would have to be the Red Apple Cider. Even though I’m a beer guy, my daughter got me hooked on it,” said Reyna.

“The one I really liked was down from the coast, Arch Rock Brewing,” said Culley.

Over 50 different companies participated in the second annual McKenzie Cider and Craft Beer Festival. People who showed up at the Willamalane Sports Complex say the atmosphere is different than most festivals.

“It’s nice. Everybody’s just really relaxed,” said Culley.

“You almost want to say family oriented,” said Reyna.

Organizers say 10 percent of the proceeds from the event will go toward helping hungry kids. It’s part of a local charity called Belly-Full.

“The Snack Pack Program is an example of how we do that. We help fund the snack pack program where 60 students from Guylee Elementary receive two gallon sized bags full of ready to eat food on the weekends,” said Nancy Bigley with Belly-Full.

“It makes sure that children who don’t have food at home are able to have food when they need it,” said Michelle Blood, an organizer with the McKenzie Cider and Craft Beer Festival.

Attendees like Erin Culley are just glad they can have fun, sip samples of beer and make big differences.

“It’s nice because you’re coming here, having some beer but it’s still going to a good cause so it’s not just coming here and getting crazy. But, it’s actually donating to a local charity and helping out some kids and having some fun at the same time,” said Culley.

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