Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Bizarre News

Beer and Bow Ties looks to raise awareness of suicide

YBOR CITY — Brent Kraus' brother Matthew always wore bow ties.

When Matthew committed suicide in 2010, Kraus honored him by opening, Ella Bing Bow Ties.

To provide even more of a tribute, the company gives 10 percent of its sales back to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

Beyond that, Kraus and Kim Randall partnered to host a yearly benefit event, Beer and Bow Ties, which returns Wednesday to the Ritz in Ybor City at 1503 E Seventh Ave.

The event, which is organized by the co-founders along with a committee of volunteers, aims to raise awareness and funds for Suicide Prevention and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

"I personally lost a good friend and business partner; she took her own life totally unexpected," Randall said. "I have been friends with Brent, and his brother took his own life as well. We kind of both decided to do something for the greater good."

Two and a half years ago, the first benefit took place at Datz.

"We said, come out, eat bacon, and we'll raise some money," Randall said. "We decided we wanted to do something more after my loss and the event was born out of that point."

Sitting around at the Centre Club, they came up with the Beer and Bow Ties theme, bow ties to honor Matthew and beer to represent Tampa as a mecca of beer.

Now in its second year, the event will feature breweries including Coppertail, 3 Daughters, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Marker 48, Cigar City Brewing, Big Storm, 81 Brew, White Claw and Hidden Springs.

Gloria West and the Gents will provide music and there will be food from Datz, Acropolis Greek Taverna, Besito Mexican Restaurant, Lee's Grocery, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Aramark, Holy Hog and the James Joyce Irish Pub. There will also be raffles and prizes.

For ticket and event information, visit beerandbowties tampabay.com.

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