Kettering pub’s guest bartender program helps spread ‘the true meaning of the holidays’

This is the time of year when many people think about giving to others, but the folks at The Growler Pub & Grub got a jump start on the holiday season helping their community. Located at 3808 Wilmington Pike in Kettering, The Growler started its weekly guest bartender program, which features a representative for a local charitable cause serving up libations, earlier this year. Fifty percent of all bar tips during the guest bartender event are donated to the featured charity, with another 10 percent of all sales for the entire day thrown in.

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The concept of supporting the community that supports you was ingrained in Growler partner Gary Leasure, who's hosted similar events at other Dayton-area establishments in the past, long before he entered the food and beverage industry.

“My father started Transient Veterans of Dayton, Ohio for homeless veterans. They do dinners for vets around the holidays. It's always been a part of our family to help out others that need it,” Leasure said.

Since the program's inception, The Growler has helped a variety of local organizations such as Paw Patrol, Clothes That Work and the Kettering Backpack Program. But they've also helped smaller causes that are even more personal.

“The first week we did donations for a gentleman here in Kettering. He's got a rare lung disease and has to have a transplant,” Leasure said. “During the holidays he's going to be off (work) for these procedures. So we raised money for his family.”

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The business has also assisted a family whose holidays were greatly affected by a recent car accident.

The Growler's philanthropic efforts won't end with 2018, with plans to continue the goodwill program on a weekly basis in 2019. Those interested in promoting their cause should contact Leasure at 937-938-7714.

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”Having philanthropies and doing things for others around the holidays for other people is probably one of the best feelings you can get, because everybody gets so bogged down and going to parties and doing this and committing to that.” said Leasure. “But when you actually see somebody smile because they know you didn't have to be there doing that ... that's the reward all the way around. That's the true meaning of the holidays.”

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