In the summer of 2015, Silver Moon regulars Mark and Linda Quon approached the Bend, Oregon brewery about hosting a karaoke night to help raise money for local residents battling cancer. One of the oldest breweries in Bend, Silver Moon has had a presence in the Central Oregon mountain town since 2000 and were more than happy to oblige.
Silver Moon agreed to donate $1 per pint that evening, held the first Friday night in June in honor of National Cancer Survivors’ Day. The event was such a success that the brewery hosted “Careoke for the Cure” every Friday night that June, raising $3,000 by the end of the month.
Encouraged by the success of the event, Silver Moon expanded the campaign to June and July the following year. In preparation for the summer events, the brewery rebranded its flagship IPA 97 as the F* Cancer IPA, creating a unique recipe and packing it into 22-oz bottles to raise even more money for the cause through their distribution channels.
“After a 500 percent growth in donation dollars in year two, it was clear that we had fostered a program and community that was destined to make a positive impact,” said Finn Leahy, Silver Moon’s director of marketing.
The momentum didn’t stop there. Silver Moon designed branded F* Cancer merchandise and hosted events in markets outside of Bend. In 2019, the brewery continues to grow the project, with an ambitious goal of raising $75,000.
By partnering with Seattle-based Tavour, a craft brew delivery service, F* Cancer could reach markets in 21 states, including many they would not have been able to reach otherwise. The company featured F* Cancer in its Beer of the Month club, propelling the product to become its single fastest-selling beer.
As a way to thank the community for its support and make the campaign even more personal to those afflicted by cancer, Silver Moon put out a call on social media asking individuals to submit the names of loved ones to be featured on new can labels. The response was so overwhelming that the brewery created two different labels featuring over 375 names of cancer survivors, fighters, and those who have passed on. Printed in a tiny, light gray font, submitters eagerly searched for their submitted names, like finding Waldo in a sea of look-alikes.
Not only did Silver Moon surpass its $75,000 goal last year, it surpassed it by raising over $95,000 for cancer research.
“The program has grown beyond our wildest dreams,” Leahy said. “The impact that it has had on communities and individuals across the country has been both staggering and inspiring.”
2020 plans call for community-specific events in the seven distribution territories throughout the western United States, including Colorado, Washington, and California. The money raised in each region will benefit local cancer programs.
The theme for the year centers around the question: “What does F* Mean to You?” The idea recognizes that “F” could stand for a number of different words, depending on an individual’s relationship to cancer. For non-profit partners, F might stand for “fundraising,” for those battling cancer, it could mean “fight.”
The events—from pint nights to large scale festivals and brew fests—will be organized in conjunction with its non-profit partners: American Cancer Society, the Knight Cancer Institute, Tour dePier, and Fighting PrettyDepending on how COVID-19 social distancing measures pan out, the brewery is aiming for a mid-summer launch. Unwilling to let the pandemic thwart their fundraising efforts, Silver Moon is working with its non-profit partners to figure out ways to run the campaign online and continue to raise funds for cancer research through social media and virtual events.
In the meantime, there are other ways to help. Supporters can submit names of loved ones for the 2020 label until April 12th. Each label will be unique to the specific distribution area, featuring names of local individuals affected by cancer. To date, the brewery has already raised $10,000 thanks to the $10 donation request for each name submitted.
Additionally, Tavour continues to distribute F* Cancer to 21 states across the US and merchandise can be shipped anywhere in the country.
“We are grateful and honored to be an advocate for cancer research and education in the craft beer industry. Our mission is far from over. We will continue to fight!”