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Friday, Aug. 20, 2010

KAMAKURA

Drinking a brew or two for a charitable cause


Staff writer

As if the heat wasn't enough. Now there's another reason to chug down a beer on the beach this summer.

News photo
Sympathetic suds: People attend a previous Beers for Books event. JIM GRISANZIO PHOTO

On Aug. 21, "Beers for Books Beach House Blast," a charity event aimed at helping literacy in developing countries, will be held at the Umi-no-ie Asia beach house on Central Kamakura Beach.

For every drink bought at the event, which will be held from 2 p.m. till 10 p.m., ¥100 will be donated to Room to Read, a globally active nonprofit organization working to improve education opportunities for children.

And as if drinking beer for a good cause isn't a good enough reason to participate, Beer for Books will also feature a whole range of fun events, including an aloha shirt contest, live music and the fabled drinking game of "beer pong" (Google it if you're curious).

Beers for Books events were started in February last year by Japan resident Gary Bremermann. They've since spread to the United States, Australia and several other countries. The organizer of the upcoming event is Kamakura resident Dan O'Brien.

Earlier this month O'Brien described why he wanted to host a Beers for Books event — and thereby support Room to Read — in his blog. "People need water. We need food. We need health. We need future," he wrote. "Well, in this complex world we have built, the knowledge is the key to all that and more."

Room to Read was founded in 2000 by American John Wood, who quit his management position at Microsoft to dedicate himself to children's literacy after a life-changing trek through Nepal. Since then, the program has built schools and libraries in countries as geographically diverse as Nepal, Laos, Sri Lanka and Zambia.

O'Brien is hoping to make the Beer for Books event in Kamakura an annual affair. "Beer and me are natural companions," he also wrote in his blog, "and . . . enjoying that companion while doing a good thing just feels good." Cheers.

"Books for Beers Beachhouse Blast" will be held 2 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Aug. 21. For more information, visit www.beersforbooks.org


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