Dave Iglar Band

The Dave Iglar Band, shown at the first Beer for Books, returns to Helicon Brewing for this year’s event.

When the proprietor of a nearby brewery happens to be a big fan of the local library, the recipe is in place for a primo fundraiser.

And so Chris Brunetti, who owns Helicon Brewing in Oakdale, got together with South Fayette Township Library Board of Trustees for the first Beer for Books benefit around this time last year.


Chris, Angelo, Gina and Cherie Brunetti

“We thought it would be a good opportunity for us to work together and be mutually beneficial,” library director Ben Hornfeck said.

With nearly 200 people turning up at Helicon in 2018 to raise $4,000, and participants having a good time in the process, the stage was set for a repeat.

And so the second annual Beer for Books is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19 at the brewery, 102 Union Ave., with Brunetti donating 100% of ticket sales directly to the library.

The event is taking place during Love Your Library Month, the annual campaign developed by Allegheny County Library Association and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

“The theme this year is ‘Libraries Connect Us,’ and that’s really what this money will be going for,” said Leslie Riker, South Fayette’s fundraising and development coordinator. “We run a lot of programs here, and this will help us continue to run those and new ones that bring people together.”

Brunetti and his wife, Cherie, live in South Fayette with their children, Gina and Angelo.

“I appreciate what the library does for my family, especially as a home-school family,” he said for a Donor Spotlight interview posted on the library’s website. “We love the programming that is offered year-round. Libraries are a hub of education.”

In addition to the opportunity to sample Brunetti’s brews, Beer for Books features music by the Dave Iglar Band, led by the local guitar legend who happens to be a South Fayette Township High School graduate. Performing with him is daughter Andrea, the township’s director of communications and community development.

Also on tap, are food trucks from Gyros N’at and Bado’s Pizza Grill and Ale House, which are donating part of their proceeds to the cause. Guests will have the opportunity to win Pittsburgh Penguins tickets via door prize and donated gift baskets by raffle.

“All money goes to improve the programs and services of the library,” Hornfeck said. “In terms of programming, that might mean we can offer programs more regularly or offer more sessions of the same programs. We have some programs that are consistently full.”

In addition to Helicon Brewing, event sponsors are Jen Crouse Realtor, Conti Law, Bee’z Bistro & Pub, Dollar Bank, Drs. Michaela and Rahim Remtulla, William F. Caye II, John Kosky Contracting Inc. and Topgolf.

For a younger crowd, the library is hosting an overnight Teddy Bear Campout beginning Sept. 27.

“It’s $15 for an adult, a child and one stuffed animal,” Hornfeck said. “We have some crafts and activities and stories to do Friday evening, and then they’ll tuck their stuffed animals in here at the library.”

Staff members then will take photos of the animals seemingly participating in various library activities, much to the enjoyment of the children when they return in the morning.

Everyone involved anticipates plenty of participation for both September fundraisers.

“It’s such a community show of support for the library. It’s small,” Riker said about the space within the township building, “but people really love it and realize how important it is.”

For more information, visit www.southfayettelibrary.org/beer-for-books or call the library at 412-257-8660.


Helicon Brewing in Oakdale

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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