If you ask Charlotte locals what the biggest growing industry is in town, there is a good chance that they will say beer and craft breweries. Being an active city with great weather has led to many of these breweries and pour shops starting fitness programs to attract those that like to “earn” their beers. The one thing missing from this community was a central location where people could see all of these events. Hence, Work for Your Beer was born. Alicia Thomas and Melanie Fox launched their website the first day of December 2016 to provide an all-inclusive resource for beer fitness in Charlotte. Their project has only been growing with now over 75 recurring fitness events occurring at breweries, bottle shops, and other locations each week. These events range from yoga classes, run clubs, bootcamps, and, you guessed it, bike rides. Their goal is to help Charlotteans live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and to build a sense of community at the same time.

This passion for involvement has been important to the powerhouse duo for years. While in school at Penn State, where the two met and became fast friends, they were both volunteers and fundraisers for THON, a student-run philanthropy group committed to enhancing the lives and families of those affected by pediatric cancer. Why choose to help the cancer cause? Alicia revealed that their purpose is personal, “we have both seen the devastating effects of cancer impact both family members and friends, and we have dedicated our time and energy to fighting back against this pervasive and ruthless disease.” Since moving to Charlotte, Alicia and Melanie had known about the 24 Hours of Booty event, and with their shared goal it was only a short time until they got involved. “It was only after launching our business that we learned that in addition to contributing funds to breweries’ 24 Foundation teams, we could actually create a team of our own! As soon as we learned we could start our own team, we rushed home and created the Work For Your Booty team right away.”

When it came time to start their fundraising, it was an easy decision to use all of their compiled data about beer-fitness and formulate a plan on how to use some of these events. This May, Alicia and Melanie launched their campaign, a 31-day fundraiser for the 24 Foundation. “Every day of the month, we go to a different beer fitness event happening at a brewery, bottle shop, or other beer-serving location in Charlotte.” They then raffle off a gift basket, valued around $100 and donated from each venue, through tickets they sell, letting people purchase as many as they want. 100% of their proceeds go to their team fundraising! “We raised more than $500 in just two weeks, and we’re aiming to have over $1,500 before the end of May! By the time that we get to the event in July, our goal is to grow our team to 20 members and raise $5,000.” After May ends, the two will continue sharing their team’s page to social media followers and in their “Weekly Brewsletter” emails to continue fundraising and hopefully adding recruits.

For their initial recruitment, they started by reaching out to friends and family, as well as their Work For Your Beer squad, including the founders, Director of Partnerships, interns and volunteers. This also includes their entire audience of over 15,000 active beer-lovers here in Charlotte. They want to emphasize that their team is open to athletes of all levels, from beginner to expert and everything in between. They also will not discriminate based on preference in beers!

Although they have made donations to the 24 Foundation in the past, Alicia said they are most excited this year because, “we have not been to the event itself! We are so excited to experience the atmosphere firsthand and to be a part of ‘changing the course of cancer’ with the rest of the teams.” She added, “we are so humbled to be a part of such a noble organization and to stand alongside the rest of 24 Foundation teams to fight back against cancer.”

We would like to thank Alicia Thomas and Melanie Fox for joining the cause and for all the work they are doing for their community.

You can read more about the promotion, and try to catch one of their remaining events here: http://www.workforyourbeer.com/blog/work-for-your-booty-a-31-day-fundraiser-for-the-24-foundation