Classic Films, Beer, Charities

Movies on Tap combines all three for a fun way to support good causes

In just two years, the monthly Movies on Tap event at Penn Cinema Riverfront has truly become a juggernaut of fun-filled philanthropy. The movies are classic gems, the brews exemplary in craft and flavor, and the scope of the cause continues to grow.

In April of 2016, Ryan Kennedy, marketing director for Harvey, Hanna & Associates, came up with the idea, which was to bring together local breweries and movie goers at a fun event aimed at raising funds for local charities. It has been an absolute success, with 99 percent of ticket proceeds from each showing being donated to that month’s charity.

“To date, Movies on Tap has raised $58,000, which has benefited 22 charitable organizations,” says Kennedy, adding that the December showing was the most successful of the 22 events. “Urban Bike Project received $8,820 from their event with Dogfish Head and screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Kennedy says. “We’re so grateful for the generosity of Movies on Tap, Dogfish Head Brewery, and all of the enthusiastic moviegoers,” says Laura Wilburn, executive director of the Urban Bike Project.

“The funding we received through Movies on Tap is huge for us. It’s enough to cover a full year’s costs for our Free Bike program. The program gives bikes, locks and lights to Wilmington residents who are in need of transportation to get to work or job interviews, grocery stores and other necessary services.” Last year’s series raised nearly $45,000, according to Drew Sheaffer, director of Operations at Penn Cinema and coordinator of Movies on Tap. “That’s almost $10,000 above our original goal of $35,000,” he says.

“Overall, we’ve heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from all of the featured breweries and nonprofits. The breweries have expressed how much they love the opportunity to connect with the local community in a fun, interactive and impactful way.” The breweries’ enthusiasm for the 21-and-older series, in which Out & About is also a partner, is reflected in the lineup of repeat participants, including Yards, Mispillion River Brewing and Dogfish Head Brewery. “It’s something different, which is what people want, and a great way to raise money and awareness,” Kennedy says.

“It’s the easiest form of fundraising. If you pair a quality movie with quality beer and an inspirational mission—tickets will sell.”

Sales figures confirm that assessment. The average crowd per event increased from 97 in 2016 to 175 last year. Donations are up as well. The average donation per event of $1,413 in 2016 more than doubled last year, to $3,500. This year’s goal is to raise more than $40,000. With tickets priced at just $20, which covers a flight of beer, unlimited popcorn and the movie, that goal should be attainable.

For more information, check out the Movies on Tap Facebook page.

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